Most of us begin the college search with the dream college/s in mind. Many of us have been taught that the game is to move heaven & earth to prove our worthiness to get in and to worry about the finances on the back end.
Beyond the stress and aggravation that this approach can cause during the final year of high school…how is this strategy actually working long term?? As you & your family decide how YOU will play this game, consider the following bad news:
- The average bachelor’s degree now takes 6 years to complete.
- 1 in 3 students will either transfer or drop out altogether after their first year of college.
- The cost of college has been steadily shifting from the state to the family and from parents to students.
On the positive side, consider:
- There are over 4,000 colleges to choose from in the US with rich and varied offerings.
- 95% of all of the financial aid awarded each year comes from colleges, not 3rd party scholarships.
- It is not only the straight A students that get aid. There are 12 colleges in the US where students with a 2.5 GPA had at least a 70% chance of getting in and getting merit aid.
What we’ve observed is that the winners of this game start by defining their aspirations, goals and the family budget first. Then, they begin to search for colleges. In fact, their list of dream colleges often changes dramatically after completing this exercise.
With clear academic, social and financial filters for your college search (along with some basic search strategies) you’ll be more in control of the college admission process. And, if you’ve done the matching well, you will have improved the financial outcome of the game.
Newly Released Video for College Smart Radio Listeners
College is likely the biggest purchase your student will ever make (except maybe buying a home), and that kind of expense can have major life consequences. This video gives you the PossibilityU financial strategy—how to maximize your college options and pay the minimum. You’ll learn what your college financing options really are and how finding the college that best fits you can make all the difference when it comes to receiving financial awards.
PossibilityU is dedicated to simplifying college admission by sharing best practices in college consulting and leveraging technology to help students find the school/s that match them best.
This post was provided by Betsy Peters, the Founder of PossibilityU, who was a guest on College Smart Radio on October 13th, 2012.
Photo Credit: allison.johnston