ATTN: High School Seniors

This is a busy time for our high school seniors.  It’s time to apply for college!!!! At this time of year, high school seniors need to focus on the application process.

This includes completing applications, writing essays, ordering transcripts and setting up references.  All of this takes time and is critical for students to do.  Coaches are very busy working with the students to get everything done.

To help, consultants can encourage their students to work on the application process and to work with their coaches.  In addition, if they know of other high school seniors considering the program, they need to enroll them as soon as possible.

We want to help all of the students we can.  It is an exciting time for students, parents, con- sultants and coaches.  If we all support the seniors, we can help them reach their educa- tional goals.

Message From The Dean – Bob Fulcomer

This is a critical time for high school seniors going into their final year of high school. The deadline to apply for some colleges is as early as October.  In order to be prepared to apply to colleges, they need to be evaluating the schools they are considering as well as deciding on their major and looking at the best school to match their needs.  They need to review admission requirements to determine if they qualify before they pay the application fee.

Many times, students will apply to 4 or 5 schools where they are at the bottom of the list for meeting the minimum requirements for acceptance; and, even if they do get accepted, they do not receive any financial aid from the college.  In order for our coaches to help stu- dents who are seniors this fall, it is critical they start as soon as possible.

Although it is never too late to start, time is of the essence.

It is also critical for the parents to heavily consider how they are going to pay for college, if they haven’t already, as well as which colleges will be the most cost effective while pro- viding a quality education for the child.

As the student debt continues to climb, many students are finding themselves in a career that just doesn’t have the income potential to pay off the student loans.  This is where stu- dents need to evaluate their options when choosing a career.

Although it is critical for a student to choose a career they will enjoy, they also need to evaluate the employment growth as well as the income potential.

A Parent’s Concerns About Student Loan Debt

by Ryan Vaughn, College Planning Division

One of the things a parent wants most for their child is to see them thrive. We want them to receive a quality primary and secondary education so they can continue on to college which will then hopefully lead to a good job where they are happy, valued and can make positive changes to our world. But let’s not forget what else we want as we age—we want to see this cycle continue on to our grandchildren. As a parent of two youngsters, I’ve noted some causes for concern that impact a great deal of Americans.

The current numbers on the topic of student loan debt are frightening: The average loan debt is estimated to be $25,000-$30,000 per student.

Some studies indicate the average loan to be as high as $33,000 per student.

Americans owe over $1 trillion dollars in student loans altogether. That’s larger than the entire country’s credit card debt!

These numbers are not shrinking and families are contributing less and less to rising college costs:

In 2010, families contributed 47% of overall college costs.

In 2014, that rate has fallen to 36%.

What might be more frightening for folks carrying this debt are the lasting impacts student loans can have on their future financial health. The average American with student loans is committing 4% of their overall monthly income to pay them back. That’s 4% that could be spent on retirement investments, savings for a down payment on a new home, or—you guessed it—planning for their child’s college expenses.

Since 2010, many families have had to “tighten up their belts,” so to speak. We need to apply this same practice in the search for college. It’s time families begin to educate themselves on ways not only to save up for college costs but most importantly, how to reduce them in the first place.

One way to reduce college costs is for students to choose the major that suits  them as an individual. Did you know only 41% of college students graduate in four years? When a student enters college without a plan it costs time and a whole lot of extra cash. It’s very important that students know their strengths, interests and potential post-college career opportunities that meet those qualities before shelling out thousands of hard-earned dollars toward a major that may not best suit them personally.

Another way to shrink college costs is to choose the right school.

Now, while this may seem like an extremely vague statement, there is quite a bit of logic behind it. Consider the following:

Assume you’ve narrowed down your college search to two schools, both of which suit your unique needs academically, socially, etc.

College A: $20,000/year College B: $30,000/year No-brainer, right?

Most families would choose College A due to cost. What many fail to consider though is how much financial aid each school is willing to dole out. Your student may be in the top 10% of enrollees at College B and that school may be willing to work your out-of-pocket expenses down to $5,000 per year.

Talk about avoiding a costly mistake!

But you have to research these kinds of things.

The path to college requires knowledge, research and time. It’s imperative that parents take part in the process of selecting a college for their children.

No parent wants to see their child struggle to make rent each month because of student loan burdens.

Or worse, come back to live with you…


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