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Spring 2014. SHOW ME THE MONEY. Financial Aid Puts College in Reach!. IMPORTANT FACTS about paying for College . COLLEGE IS THE BEST ECONOMIC INVESTMENT MOST PEOPLE EVER MAKE IN THEIR LIVES !

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show me the money

Spring 2014

SHOW ME THE MONEY

Financial Aid Puts College in Reach!

important facts about paying for college
IMPORTANT FACTS about paying for College
  • COLLEGE IS THE BEST ECONOMIC INVESTMENT MOST PEOPLE EVER MAKE IN THEIR LIVES!
  • Students with some college have better health, social satisfaction, and incomes than those with none – some is better than none!
  • Find colleges that are “good fit” for students, and then determine what is affordable… don’t look at price alone
myth busting
Myth-busting
  • NO LONGER PRACTICAL TO “work one’s way through college” – wages have not kept up with the costs of college… UNREALISTIC!
  • Nearly no one goes to college entirely on “scholarships” or gets “a full ride” – the cost of college is much more than the tuition and fees that most scholarships address!
what can families do now to prepare
What can families do now to prepare?
  • Support student’s academic preparation;
  • Voice their hopes, expectations and plans for students to attend college;
  • Don’t limit options based on cost –keep options open till real financial aid has been factored in! Don’t COUNT YOUR STUDENT OUT!
scale back now
Scale back now
  • Reducing out-of-pocket family expenses now and setting aside savings from current income will smooth out the “pinch” of paying for college later!
family saving priorities
Family Saving Priorities!
  • Pay off credit cards
  • Retirement Savings
  • SAVE FOR COLLEGE - Open a College Savings Plan for each child and contribute (even small amounts – but do it regularly), and let students know that you are doing this.
  • One idea - See California College Savings plan at: www.Scholarshare.com
where does the money come from to pay for college
Where does the money come from to pay for college?
  • Parents will be expected to contribute based on their income and assets, mostly as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • The college will then award federal, state, and institutional grants and scholarships up to the student’s eligibility
  • Outside Scholarships – civic groups, employers, foundations, churches, clubs, etc. Most scholarships are a small fraction of the cost of college these days.
  • Studentswill be expected to work and borrow; at present, the amounts are between $8,000 - $12,000 per year
what if parents cannot pay their share when the time comes
What if parents cannot pay their share when the time comes?
  • Parents who have not saved enough will have to borrow; usually the best option is the federal parent loan program – PLUS
  • Parents who cannot qualify for federal PLUS loans will burden their students to borrow even more
  • All students receiving financial aid will be expected to both work and borrow each year
parent borrowing
Parent Borrowing
  • Parents should not plan on borrowing from:
    • their home equity or
    • their own retirements

(Parents should be very wary of borrowing from private loan sources – interest rates are only one part of the overall cost)

not wanting to allow their child to borrow
Not wanting to allow their CHILD TO BORROW..
  • Student Loans are different from an ordinary expense – they are an INVESTMENT in the student’s future
  • Student loans can be
    • Flexible - monthly payments linked to income;
    • partially forgiven for full-time public service (broadly defined and not taxable!)
    • cancelled for death and disability
    • Extended so repayment is longer than 10 years to keep monthly repayment amount manageable
parents hear that students are borrowing too much
Parents hear that students are borrowing too much…
  • Typical undergraduates will have manageable monthly payments linked to earnings; there are new repayment and forgiveness options
  • Federal Student loans are usually best choice, even compared to parent loans
  • Most students who file a FAFSA qualify for federal student loans
how can students reduce the amount they borrow in college
How can students reduce the amount they borrow in college?
  • Full time summer employment savings (start now! – small savings do not reduce aid)
  • Part time employment during high school to generate savings for college
  • Outside scholarships – over and above what the college awards – these amounts can reduce the need to work and/or borrow
student choices can save
Student choices can save $$$
  • Enroll in at least 15 units each term and finish in four years! – Biggest savings!
  • Live with more roommates – second biggest savings!
  • Don’t bring a car payment or a credit card balance to college –live without a car and pay down credit card balances!
important facts about working during college
Important facts about working during college
  • Working more than about 20 hours per week is associated with lower academic performance and longer time to degree, although working on or near campus less than half time is associated with staying in college!
  • Students transferring into bachelor’s programs report having heavier reading assignments and more time-consuming problem sets and other homework responsibilities making it harder to work more than half-time during school terms.
choices about living options
CHOICES about living options
  • Living with family is not “free” – the family is subsidizing the student, although costs may be lower overall at home;
  • Living on campus, particularly at first, is associated with greater college persistence
  • Living on or very near campus can provide a “residential experience” (involving greater social and possibly academic support) that is not as readily available for commuters
  • Going, even while living with family, is better than NOT GOING! So GO!
final word for parents
Final word for parents
  • Envelopes are not likely to arrive in the mail – admissions and financial aid updates and information are mostly ON LINE and sent TO THE STUDENT – almost nothing comes to the parents. Students need an email address for “college business” that they check often.
  • Even when mistakes happen, recovery is possible, particularly in California!