No topic related to the college application process attracts more information and misinformation than finances.
Middle income families who do not qualify for assistance are reeling under $40,000+ yearly costs. Colleges, having raised costs far in excess of inflation during the 1970's, ‘80’s and ‘90’s, are now trying to become more affordable to those same families.
Financial aid budgets are stretched thin, and most colleges are unapologetic about not being need-blind and are now saying they will use financial aid (which they call discounting) to recruit students most able to help them fulfill their mission statements. At the same time, students are borrowing more heavily than ever before, graduating from college with a debt load averaging close to $20,000. And their parents often find that they are taking on even greater levels of debt.
The traditional college list designations of long-shot, middle range, and backup have been joined by a new entry - affordable. The financial impact of college is challenging the Yankee philosophy that more expensive means higher quality as students discover excellent schools within their means. How, then, can parents and students negotiate these most tricky, unpredictable waters as they seek the best college match?
How do we find out about financial aid opportunities?
An important first step is to become an informed consumer and purchase a resource book. Peterson's, Barron's and the College Board all publish them. You will also find books about scholarships.
Check with the colleges you are applying to about scholarships they dispense. Many schools have printed lists describing requirements.
Utilize GA's Resources
- Carefully go over the points and procedures detailed on this page.
- A member of the College Counseling team will be e-mailing information about scholarships to students GA e-mail addresses. Check your account frequently.
- The College Counseling office bulletin board will also contain scholarship information we receive in the mail.
- Log into Naviance - it has a robust scholarship search component.
- Finally, while college counselors are not financial advisors, they are knowledgeable about trends and procedures in the increasingly confusing world of college financial aid.