Essential Information for the College Bound -- Fall 2008

Will FL Raise College Costs?

From the President of Tufts

From the President of Harvard

From the Chancellor of Washington Univ.

Which School?

You will live with the answer
the rest of your life.

Taking The Next Step
12904 Mizner Way
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 790-5462
email: Robin Abedon
web site: TakingThe NextStep

Considering the economic crisis, many colleges anticipated that there would be a decline in early applications this Fall. Yet, as the applications rolled in, the numbers were up, for both public and private institutions, sometimes dramatically. Deans of Admission do not have an explanation. I would like to believe, as one college counselor suggested that, "Education is the last thing people are willing to give up."

Hopefully, students have applied wisely. In addition to considerations of matching students' interests, abilities and potential for personal growth, there is the daunting consideration: paying for college. Faced with rising costs of a college education, families must consider what they can afford to pay and what assistance they would need in scholarships and loans. Is a public university the best choice? Are there private colleges and universities that could meet their needs as well, or better?

The news from public universities forecasts hefty tuition increases. In Florida, Governor Christ has proposed raising tuition and fees up to 15%. The Bright Futures scholarship program would not cover any increase. Students enrolled in the Florida Prepaid Plan prior to July 2007 would be exempt from the extra tuition. Many other public systems are facing similar or even greater increases, a result of cutbacks in state and federal funding. Cutbacks necessitate reductions in faculty and course offerings. Students may have increasing difficulty finding the courses they need to complete their college education in four years. Yet, for many students, an in-state college education may be the feasible economic choice.

Private institutions are also under pressure to contend with declining revenues. Tuition increases are anticipated there, as well. However, even in these difficult times, many colleges are moving forward with their commitment to meet the financial need of their current and prospective students. While colleges are making cuts in some expenditures, they are working to meet the full demonstrated need of each undergraduate for all four years. Some student loans are being replaced by grants. Other private colleges will continue to offer scholarships based on merit, as well as need. Students may find that the cost of numerous private institutions will be competitive with the cost of public universities.

There are many avenues to a fine education. More than ever students and their families should look widely from the outset at a broad variety of colleges and universities. While taking their personal finances into consideration, they also need to consider the financial health of schools. As they seek the best educational opportunities, they need to ask what programs will be offered? What courses might be curtailed? Will there be faculty cuts? Will student enrollments be reduced in the near future? What tuition increases are anticipated? Are there scholarships available? Will loans be available? What are the criteria for merit based scholarship awards?

It is, indeed, a time of ambiguity; applications are rising, especially early applications, in an economy that is falling. Students continue to clamor to gain admission to colleges. I do believe that education is the last thing that should be given up, especially in this period of adversity.


Taking The Next Step | (561) 790-5462 | 12904 Mizner Way | Wellington | FL | 33414