A senior who graduated in May stops in before they head off to college. The smile is bright, but the eyes betray them; they are scared.
It’s easy for me to reassure them because, as old as I am, I remember how transformational the first week of college was. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I grew up in a town of 13,000 in Illinois. I really had no idea what to expect. I was pretty scared.
It started in my second class. My professor said something, and I laughed out loud. He asked me what was so funny, and I told him that I had never ever thought about what he had just mentioned. He gave me a sly grin and became a lifelong mentor.
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?
Educators, advocates, Hill staffers, and students gathered in Washington, DC, earlier this month to learn more about efforts by the National College Access Network (NCAN) to simplify the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).
For example, on one track, once a student has confirmed that their family earns a means-tested benefit such as SNAP (food assistance) or TANF (cash assistance), they are automatically sent to the signature portion of the form.
Good news is on the horizon: US employers plan to amp up their hiring in the coming months, and they’re looking for college grads.
Hiring of degree holders is expected to increase by 23 percent in 2016-17, according to a recruiting trends study conducted by Michigan State University.
“Our report shows that the hiring of college graduates has been moving at warp speed for the past two years,” Phil Gardner, survey author and director of the university’s Collegiate Employment Research Institution, said in a press release. “And signs in the early fall of 2016 point again to another explosive year of hiring.”