It’s never too early to begin planning for the expense of college. If you are accepted into an institution with a net price well beyond your family’s means, you may not realistically be able to afford the expense of attending that school. Graduating college with more than $25,000 in student loans can shackle you for years once you begin a job. Some students have so much debt that they are paying off loans equivalent to a house payment, and new employees seldom make enough money to comfortably keep up with those payments. Talk with your parents about their expectations of you and the amount of money they can comfortably commit to your college education. Let that information inform your college search.
Every college must post a net price calculator on its website. The net price estimate each calculator provides is only as good as the information a student puts in, therefore, students, we encourage you to make use of net price calculators with the support of your parents who may be better informed about your family’s income and assets (about which information will be required).
Two additional websites especially useful for families in pursuit of information about how to finance a college education and locate scholarships are FinAid and FastWeb.
For a more specific explanation of the need and merit based aid search and application processes, please read Financial Aid Nuts and Bolts.
As always, reach out with any questions or concerns!
Jennifer Scott, Director of College Counseling