Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Welcome to the Real World, part 3


What college will you attend and how will you pay for it? 

That is the question students addressed the third week of class.  


Students were required to list three college/trade school choices for their career choice and research the cost and possible scholarships/grants/loans.

For this part of the class, students had the important discussion with their parents about who is paying for my college.  Some students had not really given this much thought.




Are parents planning to help with anything?
Do parents have a college savings plan for the student?
Does the student have savings for education?
Is the parent military or retired military?

After researching schools and costs, students filled out a worksheet listing the total cost, minus the total savings, expected scholarships and grants to get a balance owed.  They applied any expected job earnings to this balance and then had to figure in a student loan to finish paying for their education.

What can students do to avoid borrowing as much as possible?

Put in some time and effort up front.  Fill out as many scholarship applications as you can.  Work a part-time job and save as much as you can.
You do not have to borrow as much money as financial aid will lend you.  Only borrow what is absolutely necessary or you might end up paying $4000 for a $10 pizza by the time you repay the loan.

How much debt is too much?
Total student loan should not exceed starting salary and ideally should be quite a bit less.

I spent the week verifying the costs of the colleges listed as well as any scholarships or grants they expected to receive.  Some students think they are going to receive much more than they actually will.  Some students receive more in grant funding than they expect.  

At the end of this exercise, I gave each student a 'scenario' for their education based on the homework they did.  They were given a paper that told them what degree they received from which school as well as their loan debt.  The highest loan debt in my class of 10 students was over $100,000 for a law degree.  My class (not by design) lined up with the national average of students graduating debt free.

With degree in hand, the students were now tasked with finding an entry level job in their field.  They were required to find a job listing and send me the link (for verification) for 3 jobs they qualified for that was in a location they were willing to live. 

Wedding Lottery- this is where the fun really begins!  Every student's name was put into a drawing to get 'married'.  I chose one male and one female to be a married couple and now make joint decisions.  The teamwork involved added a new dimension to their 'real world'.

Part IV: the results of the job search
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