In some circles, the debate over college education can be volatile and has all the features of a gripping novel: huge financial stakes, strong emotions from hormonal teenagers (and their equally hormonal parents), and the very real potential of short- and long-term success or ruin. And that’s leaving out the different ways that parents, children and other interested parties even define success or failure.
Peoples Bank wants to be the benevolent and grandfatherly influence here, so while not taking up the debate, we do want to offer some suggestions that will help reduce the emotional and financial stress that choosing a college can bring to your family.
The ACT compiled a helpful web page about choosing a college with five simple steps. (Yes, the same ACT who stressed you out from elementary thru high-school with their “assessment tests”. This is them making it up to you.) Of the five steps, four include very good information that we think help not only make the process more efficient, but help you feel good about taking the fifth and final step, “make the final decision”. You should review the website when you have time, but here are some highlights from it:
- The first step is the Identify Important Factors in Choosing a College, making a list of items to consider when evaluating and comparing different college options.
- One of the resources on this site is the “Career Planning Process” within the Think About Your Reasons for Going to College step, which includes the comment “decide what you want from life and use college as a tool to help you get there”.
- In the List and Compare step, they include the ACT Profile tool to help you collect information about colleges, rank them, and suggest you talk to professionals in the field you’re interested in to see what they have to add to the discussion about college.
- Questions to Ask on a Campus Visit step has some useful questions, such as asking students if they could register for the class they want, and how successful graduates are at finding a job.
Choosing a college is often a tough process for a family. The decision process itself is not the only complicated thing, so are the environmental variables. The cost of a college education takes one’s breath away. And it’s not like a college degree can guarantee a job these days. Added to the mix is that a whole lot of people have found better alternatives in trade school or technical school enrollment. Recently The Simple Dollar updated their blog post on just this issue, “Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College”. Famously, some of the world’s richest and most successful people never finished college. There is even a website devoted to the famous, rich and successful people who were high school or college dropouts.
Peoples Bank knows how hard it is to make and then execute the decision about college. We know that money is just one part of the equation. So, while we have people standing by to help you with the family’s financial matters, we will continue to support you and your family in its effort to thrive and be happy, no matter what. That is what you should expect from a bank for Real People.
For more information, see these helpful links:
- How to Choose a College (the ACT): http://www.actstudent.org/college/choosing.html
- Ways to Minimize the Borrowing Costs for College: https://blog.peoplesbanknc.com/ways-to-minimize-the-borrowing-costs-for-college