Feel like you’re living in a college bubble? At least you can be informed about it! There are a lot of positive trends happening in higher ed for both students and families. Here’s why you should feel optimistic about your college education.
College campuses are becoming more diverse
Diversity is on the rise at universities across the U.S., with campuses seeing increases in both gender and racial representation. From 2004 to 2014, there was also a 15% increase in full-time female students, and take a look at how diverse student enrollment has changed from 1976 to 2014.
States are launching new programs to get more students to college
In the spring of 2017, New York introduced a new financial aid option called the Excelsior Scholarship. The purpose of the program is to make college more accessible and affordable to middle class families. This program is available to students from families who live in New York, make $100,000 or less per year (increasing to up to $125,000 in 2019), and plan to attend a public two- or four-year state university.
The program provides free tuition to state schools — that’s right, free tuition! Excelsior students will still be responsible for paying for costs like room and board and textbooks.
Still, it presents a big new opportunity for students who might otherwise need to take out student loans to attend these higher education institutions.
Negotiating your financial aid package is becoming more common
Increasingly, students and parents are learning that financial aid packages aren’t set in stone — and you can negotiate for more help in making college financially feasible for your family.
Tips for doing so include making very specific requests (but not demands) and understanding the school’s aid policies so you can make your request a reasonable one to which the university can respond.
Getting a college education continues to pay off in the workplace
Americans who attend college are four times better off than those without a college education, on average. According to data from the U.S. Federal Reserve, the median net worth for those with college degrees is $292,100 — the median net worth for those with only a high school diploma was $67,100.
A Georgetown study also shows that since 2010, 8.4 million jobs were secured by those with a bachelor’s degree, versus just 80,000 jobs for those with a high school diploma.
Become more financially ready for college. Attend our webinar on the 5 Steps to Paying for College.
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