You are on page 1of 2

HIGHER EDUCATION An Advertising Supplement

No. 1 –
How do you pay for it?
By HEATHER RICKER-GILBERT

College is expensive! The cost of higher education is expected to


continue to outpace inflation, making college, for most people, a signifi-
cant investment.
What can you do to address the burgeoning cost of a college educa-
tion for your children – or for you?

First, understand the difference between


need-based financial aid and merit aid.
Second, be aggressive about finding scholarships.
And finally, look for ways you can save up money and
earn college credits as you – or your child –
look ahead to a college degree.

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal


Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine whether you are eligible for need-
based financial aid.
A federal methodology will determine your Expected Family
Contribution (EFC), which is the amount the government determines
you and your family can afford to pay toward the cost of attending col-
lege.
If you qualify for financial aid, this would be awarded to you by the
colleges to which you are accepted.
The award or “package” comes in the form of gift aid, which is
grants and scholarships, loans which have to be paid back with interest,
and work study, which is tax-free money paid directly to the student for
on-campus work.
To get an estimate of what your EFC might be, go online at www.
finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.
In addition, some colleges will require you to complete another
financial aid form called the CSS Profile, at http://profileonline.
collegeboard.com.
Merit aid is not based on need, but on academic ability, athletic skill
and or special interests or talents.
It comes in the form of scholarships or grants and is often awarded
by colleges as an incentive to enroll.
Ithaca College, for example, offers 60 $7,000 “Leadership
Scholarships” to prospective students who have been active in school or
community leadership roles such as serving as the student council presi-
dent or achieving Eagle Scout.
Trinity College offers a reduced-tuition program for qualified students
over the age of 22.
Often college scholarships are connected to academic majors and are
not just awarded to incoming students, but also to sophomores, juniors
and seniors.
Aside from merit aid awarded by colleges, there are other types of
scholarships you can pursue.
Many online sites, such as www.petersons.com/ss/code/
prompt.asp or www.scholarshipmonkey.com/mortarboard.
html will lead you to national scholarships.
There is a scholarship for every interest and ability. Some scholarships
are even based on gender and age. For example, Talbot’s clothing store
offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to women who
have been out of high school for at least 10 years.
Often community organizations and businesses such as local banks,
grocery stores and civic organizations award scholarships to graduating
high school seniors.
See if your employer or your parent’s company has a scholarship
program. Check out organizations with which family members may be
affiliated, such as labor unions, the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the
DAR or the AAUW.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has a College Scholarship
Directory that lists community scholarships in Greater Hartford. To find
out about these scholarships go to www.hfpg.org/scholarships.
OK, now you have filled out the FAFSA and you are busy writing
essays to apply for scholarships and you hope you’ll get some merit aid
from the colleges where you applied.
What else can you do to pay for college?

Continued on Page 11
FOCUS ON HIGHER EDUCATION An Advertising Supplement

HOW TO PAY FOR A COLLEGE EDUCATION interested in aviation science


can find the curriculum offered
9. Look for “budget ivies,”
such as the University of
at Bridgewater State College in Arizona, or Miami University
Continued from Page 2 Massachusetts. of Ohio. These are small public
The average annual savings for colleges that offer a liberal arts
1. Save up your money. For colleges will accept these credits. home from other colleges on Connecticut residents in this pro- education at a lower cost than
high school students, starting a There is also the opportunity summer break can take a course gram is $7,260. private liberal arts colleges, even
“college account” makes sense. for high school juniors and seniors or two at a local community col- for students from out of state.
They can put money earned from to participate in the “partnership lege for transfer credit and save 6. Take some online Examples: St. Mary’s College
a summer or after-school job into program” at their local communi- up to a whole semester or two of courses. You’ll still have to pay (a competitive public “honors”
this account to pay for future liv- ty college. This allows motivated coursework at the more expen- tuition, but you can save on gaso- college) in St. Mary’s City, Md.;
ing or entertainment expenses at high school students to enroll sive institution. line, child care and time away Mary Washington College in
college. Money they receive as in on-campus college courses from work. Fredericksburg, Va.; the University
gifts can also go into this account. tuition-free. 5. Be aware that the New of Maine at Farmington; William
(However this money will have to England Board of Education 7. Find out if the college and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.;
be claimed on the FAFSA.) 4. Earn your general edu- sponsors a regional agree- you want to attend has a and Eastern Connecticut State
cation credits at a communi- ment among all 78 public semester-long payment plan University in Willimantic.
2. If you are working full ty college or, better yet, earn institutions of higher educa- or has a fixed or guaranteed As a college admissions con-
time, find out if your employ- an associate's degree and tion in New England. tuition where you “lock in” sultant, I am well aware that
er offers a tuition-assistance then move on to a four-year It states that if the college or to the freshman-year rate. financing a college education is of
plan. Under such plans eligible institution for your baccalau- university in a student’s home great concern to many families. I
employees are reimbursed for reate degree. state does not have the particu- 8. Make the most of your hope that some of these sugges-
part of their tuition costs if they Annual tuition and fees at lar academic program that the interest in service. tions will help defray your overall
earn acceptable grades. Connecticut community col- student wants to pursue, he or AmeriCorps gives its volunteers costs as you make this important
leges total approximately $2,828 she can attend an institution in a an annual amount of $4,725 investment in your own or your
3. Earn college credits – compared to annual tuition nearby state at a cost close to in- toward tuition or to pay off stu- child’s future.
while still in high school. and fees at the University of state tuition. dent loans.
Students taking Advanced Connecticut of $8,832. For example, if a student wants By participating in ROTC Heather Ricker-Gilbert, PhD.,
Placement (AP) courses or coop- Students at community col- to major in Outdoor Education, (Reserve Officers Training Corps) a faculty member at Manchester
erative education courses while in leges save, not only on tuition, a major not offered by public during high school or college, a Community College, is an inde-
high school may realize savings in but on room and board because institutions in Connecticut, she or student receives a scholarship that pendent college admissions coun-
college tuition because they have community colleges, by design, he could take it at Johnson State covers tuition and books, plus a selor. She welcomes questions or
already completed college-level are commuter schools. College in Vermont. monthly living allowance. comments at collegegateways@
comcast.net or www.collegegate-
coursework. Not all, but many In addition, students who are Or a Connecticut student
ways.com.

Water in India each, Pines said.


The project has received gen-
erous support from several sourc-
Continued from Page 6 es, including Pratt & Whitney;
approached by the university, he the university’s Women’s
knew right away that his team of Education and Leadership
research analysts and engineers Fund and Student Government
in Delhi could provide significant Association; Pathways World
support for the solar well project. School in Gurgaon, India; and
Evalueserve is a global research Chandra – as well as Cooley and
and analytics firm. Glucksberg.
Under Cooley’s guidance, Eventually, organizers would
the company has provided like to endow the project so
invaluable logistical support, future engineering students will
Pines said. have opportunities to help resi-
In addition to the daunting dents of developing communi-
tasks of designing the solar- ties around the world, Pines said.
powered well and coordinating During last month’s trip to
the installation, Pines and the Abheypur, the CETA team got
CETA students spent years rais- input from residents about the
ing money for the project. village’s other needs – including
The cost of the installation the construction of the water
itself – including the purchase pipeline and a roof rainwater
of photovoltaic cells, a pump harvesting system – thus lay-
and storage tanks, plus drilling ing the groundwork for a new
– was about $19,000. The trip group of students to begin
to India for Pines and the five working on a follow-up project.
students cost about $2,000

BAY PATH ticipate in the Saturday program


(also all women) and the graduate
programs (co-ed.)
Continued from Page 10 The school is now in the pro-
cess of putting all its graduate
grams. programs online.
At the same time, Bay Path The Saturday program was
Online was established, a virtual designed for busy women, espe-
classroom offering the One-Day-A- cially those working outside the
Week Saturday College and gradu- home – while being mothers,
ate programs completely online. daughters, caregivers, spouses.
In all, there are 1,600 students Graduates are able to find new
enrolled at Bay Path. At the under- or better employment opportuni-
graduate level (all women) there ties as they develop self-confi-
are 500 students. The others par- dence.