Knowledge Bound: The RSC Blog
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We asked students to send us their top college concerns to see if we could help them or overcome these problems. Some students sent us more than one concern, which shows just how worried they and how much they’re thinking about their college futures.
Below is a list of their top concerns.
· Cost of college. Not surprisingly, this was the number one. The cost of college has jumped 530% in the past 30 years, financial aid has been cut, student loan terms are more stringent, and let’s face – the average family simply hasn’t saved enough. Students are worried they’re going to take on too much debt to pay for college, and they should be. Pell Grants cover only half as much as they used to, and the average student now graduates with $29,000 in student loans.
· College applications. Some students worry about putting together the perfect college application, the one that will get them into the school of their dreams and get them great financial aid.
· SAT or ACT test scores. Many students worry about what they’ll get on the SAT or ACT. They know that a good score gives them a great chance at getting into the best colleges with the best financial aid. It also helps them test out of remedial classes, ultimately lowering their cost of college. The average college graduate has a much higher SAT or ACT score than the average dropout, indicating their readiness for college. Getting a good score is important for a number of different reasons.
· Getting a job after graduation. This was the second biggest concern, and with good reason: A Rutgers University study indicates that nearly 50% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed over the past 5 years. Although a college degree remains a good indicator for long-term employment, that isn’t much comfort to graduates looking for jobs now. Certain degrees have very high unemployment rates, and there’s been a bottleneck in job growth as older workers hit hard by crashes in the stock and real estate markets, aren’t retiring. Unfortunately, getting a job right after graduation – more than important than ever given the cost of college – is extremely difficult.
Overcoming College Concerns
All of the above concerns relate to paying for college, either directly or indirectly. Preparing for college remains the single best way to make higher education affordable.
· Financial Aid help. Get financial aid help, from savings plans to advice, applications and appeals. The more professional the help, the better your financial aid package will be.
· Putting together a great college application. Colleges offer the most aid to students with the best applications. Learn how to build an impressive resume with the classes, activities and accomplishments admissions officers love to see.
· Great SAT or ACT scores. Great entrance scores also lead to better financial aid. Use a proven program that includes timed practice tests, interactive questions, diagnostic tests and immediate results to boost your score.
· Career Planning. Getting a job isn’t a matter of luck; it’s a matter of foresight. Build your education plan around your career goals by starting college prep in 8th or 9th grade. Advanced planning improves your chances of landing a job after graduation.
RSC’s plan includes all of the above and much, much more. To see everything in our college prep toolbox, click here. We’ll help you tackle your college concerns head on!
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