Monday, July 2, 2012

Ivy Students Have Less Debt - Not Sure Why

Through this blog, I just learned about the Institute for College Access & Success, what looks to be an admirable organization founded to "to make higher education more available and affordable for people of all backgrounds. By conducting and supporting nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy, the Institute aims to improve the processes and public policies that can pave the way to successful educational outcomes for students and for society." The Institute issued a research report showing that although Ivy League colleges tend to cost the most, their graduates leave the four years with the lowest debt of any group of students with debt. The average debt for all college students today hovers around $25,000. Now, looking at Brown, the averages sync, at close to $22,500. Cornell came in at close to $21,000. But Harvard was half that at $10,000 and Princeton half that again, at a little over $5,000. Is it that some of these schools provide more aid because of huge endowments, or that parents on the whole are wealthier and can pay for more costs at the start? I don't know. But I hate to say it -- looking at some of these schools, I'd have to say it pays to go Ivy.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

If Done for the Right Reasons, Gap Years Are Goodn Be Good

A gap year before starting college can be a wonderful thing. It gives a student who may feel worn out from the pressures of senior year breathing space before tackling college. Or, maybe the teen wants to travel, and realizes that once college starts the rat race of life is in full swing.Or, just as likely, a student may not feel he or she knows which direction to take once in college and wants time to figure it out - maybe working in a potential field or taking some courses in an area of interest. Here's an article on some of the options. From the parent's side, I can see where gap years may make sense. But I would sure hope my teen had been accepted to college and gotten a year's deferment so that the year could be focused on the gap experience and not colored by college application worries.