It’s that time of the year again - crucial, tensed, and important, on which depends- your whole life, from this day, quite literally and figuratively. If you are reading this, you are either an excited student on the threshold of entering a college, or an anxious parent in a quandary about how to fund your teenager’s college fees. It’s advisable to bring everyone concerned- the students and their parents, on the same page about finance management, planning, and execution, to avoid last minutes financial anxieties.
The cost of putting one student in a state public college, inclusive of everything including dormitory bills, extra courses, and transportation bills is, on an average, about $100,000. And let’s not go into the astronomical sums that private institutions would charge you. It’s the duty of every parent to make their kids understand that the world is not a fairytale and be ready to face the big, bad world, like an adult. Do your homework in advance about finances and budget and make your kid go through it. Make your kids work on the list of colleges they would like to apply to and then, sit together to discuss. Strike out those which would not be applicable by reasons of higher cut-off marks, higher-than-means expenditure, faraway location, and other such considerations. Your kids would come to realize the sacrifices, the hard work, the importance of money and other such values of life which, otherwise, they wouldn’t have.
Students, on their part, must learn to expend judiciously, avoid expenditure they can, apply for various scholarships and financial aids available to them and look for other options of income like summer jobs and student loans.
The Federal Government provides financial support to nearly 85% of four-year college students. Yet, in 2010-2011, 20% of all undergraduate students didn’t fill their application for financial aid, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education. It’s quite a shocking revelation that 44% of undergrads thought they were not eligible for any such support. Federal data reveals that most of the students are unaware of their eligibility or the fact that there is something called financial aid and they are losing out on billions just because of their ignorance, doing them no good. Students should take it in their stride to be equipped with information to deal with any exigencies and make better and informed decisions.