15.9% - ON TIME
5.0% - ON TIME
19% - ON TIME
(FLAGSHIP/VERY HIGH RESEARCH)
36% - ON TIME
That disturbing reality is the report of Complete College America, as of 2015. I included their Community College statistic for a very important reason. Many parents adopt a position that their student will attend community college and, thereby, reduce the expense of education. That is demonstrably not true, unless the reasons for all of those statistics are addressed -- specifically, intentionally and intelligently.
- Specifically: statistics apply to everyone in general, and to no one in particular. When I meet with students my perceptions are often significantly different from the descriptions offered by their moms and dads. No surprise, on the one hand; but, on the other hand, the differences I perceive translate into many tens of thousands of dollars in college expenses. It is not some kid going to college. It is YOUR kid!
Intentionally: an affordable college education for your student will not happen by accident. Sadly, this anecdote is true:
- A mom emailed me: "Please tell me how we can get money from FAFSA for our $24,000 college costs." This student was a high school senior. It was March of her senior year, and FAFSA has no money either to lend or to give.
- My heart breaks, but that family simply waited too long and made too many assumptions about financial aid and affordability.
- Affordability -- people ask me when is a good time to start. I say, "When you come home from the doctor with the news you are pregnant." Since most of us are not that well organized, nevertheless, as soon as the thought occurs to you, do not procrastinate. Contact me immediately. Affordability is possible and the more time you give yourself the better off you will be.
Intelligently: Affordability also involves the process of college selection. Factors that must be included are
- Academic/admissions threshold
- Graduation rates
- Retention rates
- Flagship programs
- Financial aid history.