We continue along from last week’s post with examining some key elements facing student-athletes making the Big Decision. Last time we talked about whether or not you got in if you applied to a challenging academic D3 school. With very selective acceptance rates, it is most likely that most applicants do not get in. We also talked about the financial side a bit and less expensive options that may be available for those that face financial burdens. In this post we will continue along with some other factors that will impact the Big Decision.
Apples to apples
There is probably nothing more confusing in this world than the financial aid statements that American colleges and universities send out every year to accepted students. Trying to decipher those statements is sometimes like reading Egyptian hieroglyphics—there is a whole lot of info there, but it does not seem to make sense.
When you are comparing financial aid packages from two or more different schools, you need to make sure that you understand what your actual out of pocket costs will be and what the total cost will be over four years. This is something that can get overlooked. For example, let’s say Big State University is offering you an academic scholarship of $5,000/year while Ivy Wall College is offering $12,500/year. At first glance, Ivy Wall may seem like a better deal as they are giving $50,000 over four years versus $20,000 from Big State.
However, this does not take into account the relative cost of each school. Big State is a large, public, state school with room/board/tuition costs totaling $27,000 per year while Ivy Wall is a small, private college with costs totaling $48,000 per year. Even though Big State is offering less money, the out of pocket expense to the student is less because of the relative costs of each school. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and look at the whole picture!
Money isn’t everything…
If you are fortunate enough that money is not a big factor in your decision making process, than count yourself among the more fortunate. We at the Hub are firm believers that all students should be investing some money in their own college education. It can take the form of student loans or work study jobs or money from a student’s savings. Whatever the source, the student needs to have a vested interest in their education in our opinion.
However, if the debt load that a student needs to take on to go to a particular school is manageable, than your decision can be made on other factors. If we go back to Ivy Wall College and Big State with the assumption that financially both are affordable, then a decision can be made on other factors.
We will examine those factors in our next post.
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