The majority of US parents expect their children to attend college, but most neglect to budget for the costs associated with higher education, national survey data shows.
“Despite the wide array of approaches families might take to build a plan to pay for college, most don’t have a plan,” according to this year’sHow America Pays for College study. “Although nearly nine in 10 families have anticipated their child’s college attendance since preschool, fewer than half that many agree they had a plan to pay for all years of college before the student enrolled.”
Planning to work during the school year to help pay for college?
Incoming freshmen should start searching now to increase their odds of landing a great campus job, according to a post on Homeroom — the official blog of the US Department of Education.
“If you’re interested in working part-time while in school, it’s best to start checking out those opportunities early, even before you get to campus or start classes,” notes blog author Susan Thares, who works with the department’s office of Federal Student Aid.
Will the FAFSA’s earlier filing date result in increased access to higher education?
New federal data is promising.
After a four-year decline, FAFSA completions are up for the high school class of 2017, the first cohort of students who were able to file for aid starting on Oct. 1 — a full three months earlier than previously allowed.
Women hold more student debt and take longer than men to pay it off, according to a recent report from the American Association of University Women.
“It’s encouraging that women are enrolling in college more than ever before, but at the same time they are taking on larger amounts of debt to pay for their dreams,” AAUW researcher Kevin Miller said in a press release. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women.”
Women now earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded by US colleges, but hold almost two-thirds of the country’s $1.3 trillion student debt.
Many of us working with students in the college search and selection process struggle to help families understand college affordability. While most students will not pay the full cost of attendance, many will use sticker price to eliminate colleges from their list before they have the chance to weigh financial aid packages and scholarship offers.
What are best practices in talking to students and families about financial aid, student debt, and fit and finances? How do we best explain longer-term benefits beyond financial gain, inherent in the value of higher education, to high school juniors and seniors? How do we address the value of borrowing for college?