Costs of a college education are increasing annually. Room and board, tuition, books, miscellaneous costs are approximately $23,000 for a state university; $32,000 for UC schools; and $50,000+ for private schools. Average time to graduate from a public university is 5.9 years; for a private university it is 4.2 years.*
A program on NPR recently reported that there are many scholarships that go unclaimed. How do you go about ferreting out this information?
High school counselors: education cutbacks have reduced their presence. Don’t expect individual help, especially for scholarship search.
Private college consulting firms: these are fee based. For the overloaded student and family, this might be an appropriate option.
Your own research.
I attended a seminar put on by a small company which specializes in assisting students and their parents about college admissions, scholarships, grants, etc. Their costs are dependent upon the amount of time spent. They recommended reading “How to Give Your Child a 4-Year College Education without Going Broke” by Ron Caruthers.
I learned at this seminar that:
The process of searching for scholarships and positioning should begin in the freshman year.
The PSAT and SAT should be taken as often as offered. Some libraries offer this service.
Private colleges often have more available scholarships, grants, etc. than the public institutions.
AP classes may not have value
Middle class and upper-middle class parents are eligible for student financial aid and/or scholarships.
Enlist your financial advisor who is knowledgeable about “included assets” and “un-included assets”
Students must develop a well-rounded “resume” that includes extra-curricular activities and leadership positions, volunteering, high SAT and GPA scores, and personal letters of recommendation
Student positioning was emphasized. Students need to be clear that their academic major will result in a job upon graduation.
Universities are allocating more admission slots to out of state students as they can charge twice the tuition as in-state applicants.