College costs and the recession
Daily announcements and news regarding the massive efforts that are underway to address our economic recession is causing a chronic case of “information overload.” Just as we begin to process the data and find an available little crevice in our brain for storing it, another new development – be it at the federal, state, or local level – takes place. Is this another piece to the fluid puzzle or should this piece replace the one I just stored in memory? If only we could simply add another megabyte of memory like we do to our computers!
If you’re a baby boomer, you’ll no doubt recall a favorite childhood game called “Freeze Tag.” The goal was to chase after a target (another player) and tag them lightly, which then required them to freeze like a mannequin. That’s what I’d like to do with all the parties involved in decisions that may impact college plans and financing for next year. A moving target is tough on the planning process.
Here’s what we have learned since last month:
- Jake’s tuition scholarship “looks good,” at least for now. The university has revoked the scholarship for incoming 2009-2010 freshmen, which is of course disappointing news for high school seniors who had qualified and their parents who had counted on these monies.
- Mike, our high school senior, attended a community college event focused on his desired major, video game design and programming. As we walked around the event while Mike participated in some group activities, we heard other parents asking similar questions to our own regarding the viability of this career (or any others outside of healthcare!) in the future. We soon discovered a big discrepancy in the information the college was providing versus what participating employers were telling us. While the college representatives stressed their two year video gaming program that was being highlighted, participating employers strongly recommended a two- or four-year degree in Computer Science for gainful and broader employment options, including video game design and programming. This economy makes it tough for young people who are trying to determine their direction in life, and soliciting advice from different perspectives is more important than ever.
Our 2008 taxes are in the process of being prepared by our tax accountant, and I have completed the FAFSA worksheets for those areas not dependent on this tax information. I’ll plug in the other numbers once we have our completed tax package. In the interim, we still continue to play the “what if” game for possible back-up plans until many of the fluctuating decision factors have been anchored in certainty – well, at least for the short term, much like freeze tag.
Understanding College Costs
- College Finances Home
- Breaking down college costs by semester
- College Decision-Making and Financial Considerations
- Cost of attendance, i.e. What is college really going to cost?
- Creating a personal budget
- Deciding on a College and the Importance of Cost
- Difficult Times for College Families
- EFC stands for¦? Know your acronyms.
- Paying for College: The Deer-in-the-Headlights, Head-in-the-Sand Approach
- Reviewing the Finances of a College Education
- The biggest student financial fear? Having to pay it all back.
- The Killer Cost of Textbooks, and Ways to Survive
- The second year costs
- The Summer Job Search
- What college costs should I consider outside of the COA?
- What Does College Really Cost?
- When Mother Nature Changes Your Finances