Financial Aid – The Elephant in the Room
A significant topic of discussion is, and should be, financial aid. You would be surprised how many students and parents hesitate at that, maybe too proud, not wanting to deal with the realities, or the desire to go to a particular school is so great that dollars aren’t even discussed, until late in the game. Bring it up from the get-go, when you are beginning your college search, know what you’re in for, and understand how the schools on your list will fare with your bank account and your boundaries.
Colleges want to do all they can to admit students who fulfill their criteria, will be successful and make them proud. Hopefully, you and your parents have had a discussion on out of pocket costs, and your potential net cost of each school that is on your list, since all schools are not created equal.
When visiting colleges, admissions counselors should have this information. Take notes. Don’t rely on your memory, since, after a few college visits, they’ll all start blending together.
Make a note to ask about grants (financial need based) and merit awards (based on your credentials) that are available from the college, and the job opportunities so you can earn a little bit of income on the side. Don’t hesitate, and don’t feel that it will affect how the college admissions reps will view your application. Everyone is in the same boat.
To document your thoughts from your college visits, access our Campus Visit Checklist, that can be completed on your phone or tablet and emailed to yourself and one other person, by going to signaturecollegecounseling.com, select COLLEGE VISITS and then CAMPUS VISIT CHECKLIST.