If you have a high school student who is beginning to look at colleges, we may have info that will make your search more successful.
The All-in-One College Guide provides useful information and the questions to ask before choosing a college.
The author, Dr. Marty Nemko says that some colleges use the drug dealer approach to financial aid. The college gives the student a big discount in the first year, then raises the prices, knowing the student is hooked. Nemko advises asking the college admissions office if the level of student aid will remain the same if the family’s financial situation remains unchanged and confirming the agreement in writing.
Some schools advertise that half its classes have 20 or fewer students, Nemko says. Sure…the very obscure classes. Parents should ask about how many students are in popular courses such as calculus or 20th century literature. It may be 100 to 500 students.
Nemko warns against schools that offer majors that only appear to offer a path to a financially lucrative career. For example, the journalism major may be very appealing but the college may fail to tell you that most of its graduates never earn enough in journalism to even pay back their student loans.
The best thing to do is contact the college’s career center and ask about the percentage of graduates in a particular profession that are employed in that field within six months of graduation. To find out more about the college, ask the admissions office for a copy of its latest student satisfaction survey or accreditation report.
Nemko says that studying for the SAT does not improve scores significantly. Instead, he recommends that the student spend the study time on improving course grades.