College News to Help with the Final Decision

By Anne Vaccaro Brady

I’ve written several posts on how to help your teenager make a final choice on a college. But I’ve come across some articles and posts recently that add to the discussion, covering such issues as the importance of a college education, whether where you go to college really matters, getting the most from a financial aid package and navigating when college admissions doesn’t work out as expected. Read on.

Placing a value on a college education In her article for the Atlantic, Gillian B. White explains why going to college makes economic sense, but warns about the risks of carrying a heavy debt load and concedes that certain majors have a higher pay off than others.

On the other side, in an opinion piece for Fortune, Jonathan F. Foster shares his view on why an expensive college education may not be worth the investment.

Comparing colleges In his well-publicized Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Frank Bruni discusses why where you go to college doesn’t matter as much as you think. The piece is adapted from his book, “Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be.”

Derek Thompson counters some of Bruni’s arguments in an article for the Atlantic, but makes the point that the type of student you are matters more than the prestige of your college.

Saving money on college costs One way to help your student graduate on time, or early, is to encourage him to use his time in high school and the first couple of years of college wisely, according to Kim Clark in her article for Money. This includes taking AP and/or IB courses in high school and determining a major by sophomore year and sticking with it.

In her article on MarketWatch, Jillian Berman offers some simple steps to get the best financial aid package.

Susannah Snider explains how to figure out if your student’s financial aid offer covers more than freshman year in her post for U.S. News & World Report.

Before determining whether a financial aid package is a good one, Libby Nelson, writing on Vox, suggests a student asks seven questions first.

Making a Plan B or C Sometimes being turned down by your top-choice school is a good thing. Rachel Chason helps parents and students see the bright side of a rejection in her post on USA Today College.

Please share links to any articles you’ve read recently that helped your student pick “the” college in the comments section below.

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