December 2015 Counselor News
Addressing the topic of affordability with students and parents is possible — with some facts! Though every family’s situation is different and there may not be a one-size-fits-all answer, students can afford a private college. The misperception exists that private colleges are out of reach, but that myth is something we tackled in a recent article, one that addressed the fact that the listed price isn’t what most people will end up paying, in particular at private nonprofit colleges:
“All kinds of institutions in Minnesota offer gift aid, in the form of scholarships and grants, notes Jeff Olson, director of financial aid at Bethel University. So that gift aid lowers the listed price to a ‘net price,’ which families then pay — using a mix of savings, income and borrowing. Yes, the list price at private nonprofits is higher than at publics. But the amount of gift aid is typically much larger too.”
One key point that the financial aid experts shared is the value of high school families testing out what might be possible by using net price calculators. These online tools exist on each college’s website can shed a lot of light on how much students may receive in financial aid and how much they and their family might have to pay out of pocket.
Check out the article and consider how it helps you with the conversations you are having with parents. (And if you have any suggestions for how we could better help families use those valuable net price calculators to get an early read on what will be possible, send us a note.)
Also you’re hearing concerns about debt, here is a new background piece from the Council that could help you and your families think through this important topic.
Another useful resource is the Paying for college videos, which were co-sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Private College Fund. They’re packed with concrete advice from local experts to help demystify how Minnesota families can finance a four-year college education.
Every week is seems like there are articles questioning whether studying liberal arts is worth it. So it’s no surprise that it’s on the minds of many college students and their families — as well as anyone who is concerned about education and the workforce. It is good time to revisit the meaning and impact of a liberal arts education. Read how the presidents of Concordia College and the College of Saint Benedict make the case.
Students from Hamline, St. Thomas and St. Olaf offered up what makes for a good professor. Their answers demonstrate the importance of student-faculty interaction in helping students learn and succeed, something our colleges put a particular emphasis on and excel at. Read what the students had to say.
Many peer-mentoring models exist to help first-year students adapt to their environment, build relationships and gain a sense of connection to the campus community. Learn how The College of St. Scholastica, St. Catherine University and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design pair first-year students with upper-class students — with the goal of increasing retention. Read the article.
The deadline (Dec. 21) is fast approaching to pre-order Minnesota Private College Week postcards. Although you’ll still be able to order copies later, pre-ordering allows you to reserve copies and helps us better estimate how many to print, reducing the risk of running out. Click here to submit your pre-order.
Not sure if your colleagues have already placed a pre-order? Email us to find out.
Did you know we’re on Facebook and Twitter? We’ve geared our Facebook page to parents of high school students while our Twitter feed is more of a smorgasbord of higher education topics for higher ed professionals — in addition to parents and students. Prefer Instagram? We’ve got that covered and have pulled together all our college’s Instagram feeds into one single location.
Our e-newsletter for parents of high school students — The Bridge: Parent News — provides helpful information on the college planning process and is publish several times a year. Past issues along with a sign up can be found at mnprivatecolleges.org/parents. Please consider sharing this resource with families.
If you there are topics that you’d like us to cover, please email us your suggestions.
Here are some of the best recent articles that we’ve come across:
The Unexpected schools championing the liberal arts
The Atlantic, Oct. 15, 2015
The five biggest myths on financing college
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 7, 2015
A college-rankings world
The Atlantic, Nov. 9, 2015
Why critics are wrong about liberal arts degrees
Fortune Magazine, Nov. 13, 2015
Six common myths about higher education
Huffington Post, Nov. 22, 2015