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Plan Tips

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Take control of your college search and don't limit your options.

  • Get started with your college planning early! You've probably heard this before, but it's true. This means working on admissions essays and college applications in the summer before your senior year. During the school year you will be even busier with homework, sports, activities and a social life. Save yourself the headaches and start planning for college now.
  • The average public high school counselor serves more than 300 students. This means you need to take command of your college search.
  • College seems expensive. Average cost, tuition, books, room, board, etc., for 1 year at a public college: $16,357. Average cost, tuition, books, room, board, etc., for 1 year at a private college: $33,085. But there is good news: 63 percent of all students receive some form of financial aid, be it grants, loans, scholarships or federal aid. And the value of a college degree will soon pay for itself. A college degree holder will, on average, earn $1 million more over the course of a lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Colleges want you. On average, non-profit colleges spent $430 to recruit each applicant for admission in 2004. If you can't get into one college there is probably another college nearby looking for someone like you.