$ for college

Seniors in and out of FIRST in my life all seem to be having some trouble coming up with money for the school of there choice. Example. My friend wanted to go to the university of Chicago, her dad is dean of admissions of a VERY VERY large University in Columbus, Ohio, but yet she cant go to Chicago because it is too much. This has also happened to me and a few other friends of mine. Why should we consider colleges that are out of our price ranges when our parents make alot of money but cant pay for our college education…i might be just venting but i think this hole this is messed up…

anyone elses input?

Annual net inflation is ~2%. Average annual college tuition inflation is close to 11%. So obviously, there is something wrong with this. Eventually college prices are going to level off, if not go down. I know that doesn’t help current seniors (like me) much, but this situation will eventually be rectified.


Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships. Use Fastweb.com and apply to every single applicable scholarship you can find. Even if it is only for a thousand dollars or less, every little bit can add up. I’ve won $82,000 in scholarships, and there are lots of better students out there. Just take the time to write the essays, fill out the forms, and it will start rolling in.

FAFSA…even if you consider yourself middle of the range income-wise, the Federal government will often make a contribution, especially if you have siblings in college at the same time.

Financing options. Student loans aren’t the worst thing in the world, and sometimes they are necessary. One good trick is to take out a bank loan (typically 4-5% interest) and prepay as much college as you can with it. The advantage to this is you can pay for several years at today’s price, and not have to worry about tuition raises. The annual tuition raise will almost always be more than the interest owed on your bank loan. Not all schools allow this, however.

So all in all, there is no harm in aiming high. Yes, it is frustrating and financially devastating, but there is a way to pay, even if it is not ideal.

Still, just because a college is expensive doesn’t mean it is better than a cheaper one. Most engineering programs, for example, are ABET accredited and therefore relatively similar.

Keep looking, and keep your head high. You’ll find the right school eventually.

I feel for you man. . .the rate of tuition increases seems way out of line.

I have a friend that used to work in admissions at Fordham. He often faced grim parents, upset at the price of tuition. He had a pretty interesting answer for them.

The cost to go to Fordham has always been about the same price as a mid-size american sedan. (I think he used Oldsmobile in his example). He had hard examples of the cost of a certain model in '55, '65, '75, '85, etc. and the relation to tuition was almost uncanny.

However, he would continue to explain, there was a day when a family only had one car, homes were more modest, there was no cable, no cell phones, yearly vacations were not taken via airplane, but via car, this list goes on and on - times and what we call “necessary expenses” have changed.

I wish you the best of luck and the previous post-er had some great suggestions that WILL WORK! Hang in there. In the long run, the cost of the tuition will be a bargain as compared to the cost of not having that sheepskin.

My big suggestion: If you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, you enjoy doing that particular thing, and you want to go to a school where you can get a good education about that particular thing, take out mad college loans.

Nobody can pay for someone’s entire college tuition out of pocket. If you are incredibly sure that your major is something that you want to do, it’ll be well worth it in the long run. Every school is a ‘party school’, every school has a ridiculous tuition - but not every school specializes in the same things. Go for it, and don’t kick yourself later.

Some states offer scholarship programs of a sort (Such as MI with passed MEAP test = $2500 for MI College, $500 non-MI).

There are scholarships all over. Go to your local library and grab a college financial planning book. (About 2" thick). One I looked at had everything indexed by intended degree. (i.e. Engineering, Mechanical Engineering: 86, 302, 303, 480… then Scholarships [in ABC order] with that number you can get for an M.E. master intention)

If you go now… you may be too late for almost all scholarships. The majority of scholarships have deadlines (Usually in Feb or March) or they go until all the money is gone (Which is also Feb or March usually).

There’s always next year though. January 1st each year send in that FAFSA and start hunting for scholarships. There is a lot of free money out there if you look hard enough. Try and find an internship at a business of the same field as you are going into, sometimes they will help pay for schooling if you agree to work for them for X years.

If the money is too tight, for you and your parents (or parents refuse to pay it all)… go to a community college for a year or two, get some low-cost classes while having a job then transfer to a normal 4-year college for the remaining 3 or 2 years. This is the route I’m taking. My family just edges out of a lot of monetary qualifications, and being that my sister is in college also, we are tight for money all around. For about $50 per credit, I can get a lot of pre-requisite classes taken care of as well as get used to “college life” (How to write college papers, get customed to show up to class when I don’t have to, etc.). Going to Oakland Community College… I can get an associates degree, then move on to somewhere else (hopefully Michigan Tech) and get a bachelors or masters.

But I stress again, look around for money before it’s time to pay. (Especially a note to you Juniors out there). Turn in your FAFSA no earlier than January 1, 2004 and no later than January 10, 2004. (Best to do it before FIRST kickoff so you don’t forget). Go to your local library and get as much information as you can. It usually won’t cost a penny to get a scholarship for what you’ve done. Don’t expect your parents to shell out college tuition, chances are they’ve been paying for everything in your life until you were 16 and can see it as begging or that you aren’t taking an initiative to become independant.

All in all, it doesn’t really matter how much work you do, it matters when you do it. Deadlines suck if you are past it.

I must agree here with one left field point of view. If you compare college tuition to starting salary you will find a really bad trend. That is as starting salaries have leveled off or declined, tuition continues to rise. When I graduated, the annual tuition/expenses were only about 1/5 of the annual average starting salary. Not a bad investment on four years, payback in less than one year. Now tuition is about half of starting salary, making payback two years or more. If you are in a five year program, the payback is even longer. Colleges are incurring greater expenses and enrollment is fixed but the tuition seems to be rising at an alarming rate.

That being said…There is no doubt that a college experience is going to give you an edge on whatever career you choose. Yes you will hear about how someone is making a gazillion dollars and never got out of ninth grade, but it is rare. More rare than getting into the NBA or Pro football. Employers want to see advanced education on the application. Find a way to make it happen and don’t waste your time when you get there.

I totally agree with Al, and for those of you who are getting ready for your first year at college, I offer you a few tips.

First, have fun, lots of fun, but remember why you are there. If you mess up your grade point early on, it takes a huge amount of work to get it back up while it seems to go down rather easily;)

Second, look for your graduation GPA bogey minimum to be a 3.0. Lately GM hasn’t even been looking at resumes with a lower than 3.0 GPA. Along the same lines even if your graduating GPA is above 3.0 remember your transcripts!! If you turn in a great resume but then your interview calls for a sealed transcript, and they see you bombed out of a bunch of classes that quickly ruins your great GPA/resume.

GM (and many other large companies) has some policy’s now where without a degree you are held firmly in the lower ranks of the company.

Lastly, Graduate School (Who wants to think about that at a time like this??) However, with just a B.S. GM will pick up the tab for you to continue your education while still working. Right now I am getting my masters from Kettering and still getting a full paycheck! One class at a time.

I’m off to college next year and hear are some tips I came across. Already, it’s looking like my parents and I won’t be paying much of anything out of pocket. First, Smaller branches of larger school generally offer lower tuition. I’ll be going to University of Michigan - Dearborn and their tuition is lower than U-M ann Arbor. Their undergrad glasses are also taught by professors and not grad assisstants. Second, and not for everyone, I joined the Michigan Air National Guard. Because I went into a job where they needed people, I’ll be getting the GI Bill, $200 reimbursment per semester for books, a signing bonus, and I was given a higher rank, so I’m making more than most people my age. I only have to work one weekend a month and two weeks a year and it’s local so it’ll work out great. Finally, I’ve had the most sucess wi9th local scholarships. Check out what programs your local Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, or even your parents’ employers are running.

Well, uuuhhh, I may get a little flamed by this…:smiley:

If i do well enough at my technical school, (3.0 min - 3.5 perferred) with a 97% attendance, Jaguar will pay for ALL my stuff - plus give me $1000 for snap-on tools! (BTW - I’m going to Universal Technical Insitute - 30 mi west of chichago. It’s an 18 month program.) A nother cool thing is that if/when they do take me, I get to go to Florida for 20 weeks - FULLY PAID! It’s awsome to do something you really like!! :slight_smile:


The school wants their money up-front, so I applied for FAFS - or how ever you spell that - and they picked up the tab totaly. Yea, yea, I know that is only a loan, but I don’t have to start paying anything till Mar 04’!