Time to be talking with your student about financial aid, college planning, campus safety and more.
By Anne Vaccaro Brady
This week’s review of college-related news covers everything from how early to start college planning to what parents need to know about rape on campus to when to take the SAT to how to talk about financial aid with your student. Read on to learn more.
Health and wellness In his article for Inside Higher Ed, Jake New points out that 22 states don’t require college students to be immunized against measles. New provides a link to a federal database you can search to find out which, if any, vaccinations are required in the state where your child will be attending college. Also, check the school’s student health services website to review its specific vaccination guidelines, which may be more stringent than the state’s.
Do you know what to do if your child is sexually assaulted at college? Though none of us wants to imagine this scenario, it’s a more common occurrence than colleges want to admit. This important and very informative post on Grown and Flown shares everything parents need to know to help a student who is raped.
Dan Berrett and Erik Hoover report on the annual Freshman Survey for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Two highlights of the study caught my attention: college freshmen have less experience socializing and one in 10 say they are depressed. If you sense that your freshman’s college experience isn’t meeting his expectations and it’s affecting his emotional health, check out my post on college students and depression to recognize the signs and learn how to help.
Money, Money, Money College Financial Aid Advisors offers advice on talking with your student about financial aid. As a family, you need to understand the cost of college, the process of filing for aid and the options.
If you are considering taking out a loan to pay for your student’s college tuition, then read this post by Jodi Okun on About.com covering the changes to the Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students program, better known as PLUS Loans.
After you fill out the FAFSA, your teenager will receive a Student Aid Report. College Financial Aid Advisors breaks down the details of the report and explains what to do if any information appears inaccurate.
I am a strong supporter of study abroad and the opportunity for a college student to experience another culture for a few weeks or months. One option growing in popularity is interning abroad. Steven Greenhouse’s article for the New York Times examines the cost and value of interning overseas. I’m familiar with these programs. My daughter participated in an unpaid internship program in Dublin during a winter quarter (12 weeks) where she did real work, lived locally with other college students and soaked up European culture. She considers it the highlight of her college experience. The program fee covered her housing and internship placement, and need-based scholarships were available. Check out my post on planning for study abroad to find out more.
Christine Armario of the Associated Press reports on a new study that reveals that the children of the wealthy continue to earn their undergraduate degrees at a higher rate than those whose parents live in poverty, with the gap widening dramatically in recent years. Not surprisingly, the cost of college appears to play a key factor.
College planning begins earlier and earlier In her article for the New York Times, Laura Pappano takes a look at schools that are introducing elementary and middle school students to the college experience, including campus visits. Though some question whether children this young can appreciate the exposure to college life and a discussion about their future, I think opportunities like these help students for whom the topic of college and careers is unlikely to come up in their household.
In a related article for the New York Times, Ms. Pappano writes about how some schools are including SAT prep in their K-12 curriculum. Students as young as middle school are taking the college entrance exam to familiarize themselves with the test, and to earn a spot in outside academic college-prep programs. For most students, the spring of junior year is early enough to take the SAT or ACT for the first time, with prep starting a few months in advance. Read my posts on when to take the SAT/ACT and how to select a test prep program to get answers to your additional questions.
If you’ve read an article or post that helped your family with college planning or the college experience, please share the link in the comments section below.