The Oscars of college applications are about to begin. The envelope please - is a phrase both for parents and seniors beginning around April 1st. All those months of waiting come to an end, and a new challenge begins. What school do I choose? Is it an ivy league, honors program, private school, public state university or community college? Regardless of the weight of the envelope, and the level of the school, decisions are about to made on more than the prestige of a name, and the offer of admission. For most seniors, finance is starting to play a major role in that final decision. For those who are accepted to the school of their dreams, the immediate joy is often tempered by the sticker price. While some Ivy League schools have announced that grants will replace loans in the financial aid packages for the coming classes, it seems obvious that the higher income families of Long Island will not be affected by this policy change.
While our Long Island salaries and incomes may be significantly higher than those in other locations across the country, so are our expenses. Most families have two working parents, and taxes are considerably higher than those in other parts of the country. Albeit most of our brillant students will not qualify for those generous grants, so what do they do about financing a $50,000. + a year education? Another downside is the recent report more and more banks are withdrawing their participation in college loan funding. What are students and parents to do? Besides, what loan is a Long Island student eligible for other than a Stafford Loan? In truth, one option may be for students and parents to look at fine schools that may offer students a great education and a low debt ratio. Look for grants, and awards based on high school academic performance that are not need based. These funds may just offset that cost of tuition or room and board.
Parents and students need to look carefully at their financial aid packages, and determine the indebtedness each wishes to face in the future. To some an Ivy League education may be worth the financial indebtedness, but to others, choosing one of the thousands of other wonderful colleges and universities across the USA may be the right decision.