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It’s not too late, but choose wisely
Posted by Deborah Berbig Tue, March 27, 2012 1:22 pm EDT
At this point on the academic calendar, many high school seniors have laid their plans, made their decisions and moved toward entering the next step in their educational journey. On the flip side, many high school seniors have yet to lay plans, make decisions or take steps forward with their education. While it may be the third quarter of the game, the whistle has not been blown. It’s getting late, but it’s not too late for students to make the decision to pursue postsecondary education. Students may still be able to apply to an open admissions college. For students laying their plans now, some things to consider:
- First, without postsecondary education or training, a student could struggle to support him/herself. The national average annual income for an individual with only a high school diploma is $20,960, according to the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP). To help your student grasp this salary reality, have him/her do the math. If planning to live on their own after graduation, they should calculate the cost of rent, utilities, car payments, gas, cable, phone, insurance, and food. This way, they’ll see there isn’t much left for other items such as clothing and entertainment.
- Second, before applying to college, students should know the field they want to work in before enrolling. Know the annual income and employment projections for jobs within that career field. Students may know what type of job they want but may have no idea of the annual income or employment opportunities. Make sure you have a plan on how to use that major to earn a living.
- Third, when considering cost, the selection of a college should be treated like any other big ticket item. Families should review the cost of attendance for the chosen school and determine its affordability. To cover educational costs, students should apply for financial aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as for scholarships. Before signing on the proverbial dotted line for a student loan, know the terms of the loan and the payback schedule. After graduation, will the student be able to support him/herself and pay back the loan once employed. If not, select a less expensive college, even if it isn’t your first choice.
To assist students with applying to their state college, high schools across the state are holding Go Higher, Get Accepted events this spring. The Go Higher, Get Accepted campaign is designed to encourage students who have not made postsecondary plans to apply to their local state college. Next month, some schools in Duval and Nassau County will hold Go Higher, Get Accepted events. For more information on local Go Higher, Get Accepted events call (904) 632-3078.