New Publication Examines Rising Tuition as a Deterrent to Prospective Students

BestColleges.com and their panel of experts explore the problems students must face when deciding how to finance their education, or if they can enroll at all.

February 21, 2018 (Seattle, WA) - BestColleges.com, a leading provider of college planning resources and higher education research, announced today the release of its third publication examining educational barriers in the United States, this time focusing on college costs as a major educational deterrent. The discussion covers how rising tuition costs are forcing prospective students to place a cost value on college education, leading many of them to reassess whether college is the right option for them. In order to address this major issue, BestColleges.com invited a diverse panel of individuals from universities, nonprofit organizations, and financial institutions to discuss how students can shift their application process from cost decisions to future value decisions.

The nine person panel was interviewed for their unique and knowledgeable perspectives on higher education, accessibility, financial aid, college application processes, and student decision-making. They offer a refreshing examination of college price misconceptions and the ways students and parents can overcome cost barriers by refocusing their efforts on financial support opportunities, such as scholarships and college access organizations. "With tuition rising at an exponential rate, it's no surprise that many students and their parents make college decisions based on cost factors alone. However, this thought process neglects to address the fact that not every college campus or degree program provides the same value, nor does every college set a student up to be successful in the same way," says Stephanie Snider, Director of BestColleges.com.

The discussion also addresses how prospective students can reassess their college search and application process by evaluating the value of a college program rather than conducting enrollment decisions based on school sticker prices alone. "The costs associated with attending college are obviously a major concern for most students in America today, but by shifting the focus of their application decisions to value rather than cost, students may find that they can control and manage the financial constraints of their educational journey more than they previously thought," added Snider.

To view the complete publication, please visit:
https://www.bestcolleges.com/perspectives/college-barriers-cost/

Meet the panel:

Nancy Lee Sánchez, Executive Director, Kaplan Educational Foundation

"Look beyond the sticker price -- there is funding available to make high-quality education affordable. Many colleges offer cost calculators to help families get a better idea of the portion they are likely to pay towards their children's educations. This is why it is so important that students take into consideration colleges that offer merit-based and need-based financial assistance, and that these resources are often combined in order to make college more affordable."

Nick Ducoff, Co-Founder and CEO, Edmit

"The biggest misconception about paying for college is that you will pay the sticker price. Hardly anyone pays the sticker price -- in fact, just between 1% and 12% of first-time freshman pay full tuition. Almost everyone receives some form of financial assistance and/or merit aid."

Jacob Tyler, QuestBridge Scholar, Stanford University

"There are countless college access organizations out there. I would suggest doing a quick Google search of these organizations. Look at their programs and requirements, and determine which ones seem like the best fit for you."

Abril Hunt, Outreach and Financial Literacy, ECMC

"People really need to think outside the box when it comes to scholarships. They also need to look in their own backyard first. Local scholarships may be smaller, but they add up and competition is less fierce. I tell all my students to get on Google and search their hobbies, accomplishments, and interests that are unrelated to school along with the word 'scholarship'."

Ivette Chavez, Lead Financial Coordinator, CAP

"Apply! Never close the door on a potential opportunity due to the unknown. A college degree opens many doors and there are many opportunities to find funding for college. The first step in the process is to apply to college."

Ngina Chege, Liberal Arts Student, Holy Cross College

"I would advise students and their parents to think outside the box when it comes to financing their college education. I would encourage them not to limit themselves to the resources provided at their specific high schools, but to also seek resources in their communities. Academic programs such as Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound (TRiO) are great examples of programs that equip students with the knowledge and empowerment needed when navigating through the college application process."

Ted Gonder, CEO and Co-Founder, Moneythink

"It's okay to ask for help in assessing options; you don't have to be alone in the journey. Reach out to your student's high school, reach out to your city's education department, and ask to speak with experts who can advise you on your student's college options. You can even look for help online."

Justin G. Roy, Dean of Admissions, Georgian Court University

"Many people assume that some schools are beyond their reach when they might not be. An admissions/financial aid counselor can properly advise the student on what the true cost will be for him/her based on numerous factors, such as their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), SAT or ACT scores, performance in high school, extracurricular and community service activities, work history, family income, etc."

Holly Morrow, Senior Vice President of Knowledge, uAspire

"When financing an education, students and parents need to know that the costs for college are multiplied by however many years the student will attend. If they are stretching to make one year work, then they should think about how they will meet the costs of the following years."