There are many myths about the current state of college admissions and college costs. These myths can lead students and parents in the wrong direction, resulting in costly, and even life-altering, results. Here are a few of the more common misconceptions and the truths behind them:
Myth 1: Private Colleges are More Expensive than Public Colleges
Fact: Many private colleges have endowments which give them the opportunity to reduce the “sticker price”. This may result in lowertuition costs than a public school. Federal and state funding of public colleges has been steadily decreasing. Families should not go by listed sticker price when seeking out college options.
Myth 2: Most students get a bachelor’s degree in four years.
Fact: According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40% of students who enter college each year graduate within four years. That extra year or two drives college costs even higher for families.
Myth 3: Well-known colleges are better than a college "no one has ever heard of".
Fact: There are many "hidden gems" among lesser known colleges. By focusing on right-fit, prospective students can find colleges where they will find their success. Using academic, social, emotional and financial fit will guide each student to the best colleges- well-known or not.
Myth 4: There’s no need to fill out financial aid forms because we make too much money to get aid.
Fact: Every family should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (commonly referred to as the FAFSA ) because there are many factors that go into determining a family’s eligibility for financial aid. The vast majority of students do qualify for some form of aid and many states and institutions also use the information from the FAFSA to determine eligibility for their grant and loan programs. In addition, only families who fill out the FAFSA can participate in federal loan programs to finance college.
Myth 5: It’s better to get high grades than to take challenging courses.
Fact: Colleges want to see rigor in a student’s courseload. It is obvious to an application reader when a student has taken easy courses to get higher grades.The top two things that colleges are looking for today is grades and rigor.
Be sure you have the right facts as you begin college planning. It's difficult to make a sound decision on a foundation built on myths.