Counting the Cost of Going to College
Every year thousands of youth and young adults vie for the opportunity to attend the college of their choice. Parents, teachers and the economy dictate the need for education beyond high school. For many college is a way to a better life than that of their parents. For others, it is a rite of passage to adulthood. They all have one thing in common, the need to pay for additional education. Every May when colleges hold graduations, the new media reports on the ever-increasing cost of college. The average ten-year repayment is at $351 per month.
The Center for Smart Financial Choices (CFSFC) posed a solution in 2014 when it instituted its Financial Education Scholarship Program. CFSFC found that students were often unaware of the true cost of college and how their families would pay for them to attend. In fact, many students were unaware of what they could personally do to reduce reliance on student loan debt.
With a donation of $5,500 to fund the first scholarships, CFSFC created a class called “Going to College-Counting the Cost” that aided youth to examine the true cost of college. The class provides teens with the steps they can take while still in high school, like achieving good grades, taking college classes while in high school, reading, volunteering in the community and many others. Teens are required to attend a total of two financial education classes that introduce them to their habits and relationship with money, understanding credit or reducing spending on non-necessities.
CFSFC is pleased that over one hundred teens and young adults have taken advantage of the scholarship program. One of our scholarship participants said, “as a college student, the lessons I’ve learned have been very beneficial in my managing of my finances. Progressing through college, the Center has helped add onto my knowledge about credit, student loans, scholarships and more.
Through donations and a Giving Tuesday campaign, we have been able to offer this scholarship for three years. This program helps young people to progress and succeed without incurring unnecessary debt as they begin their journey to adulthood.