*POCSmom’s DIY Insight: College-Bound Stress and the Stress-Buster

Cliché: Stressed out.    
POCS Reality: POCSmom is a college-bound stress-buster.

 

Sky rocketing college costs, complicated admission and financial aid processes, rules that can change at any time. No wonder parents and their college-bound students are confused, stressed, and having trouble partnering in the college process. 

For best chance of future college success, it takes a village, or at least parents and students working together. How will you handle the hot topics of money, high school senior year expectations (senior privileges, SATS/ACTs, AP/IB classes, prom) and college prep (lists, college visits, admission applications, financial aid applications)? How will you deal with outside influences and weigh opinions of well-meaning family and friends, counselors and other experts?

It’s POCSmom to the rescue-partnering with Certified Parent Coach Kay Kimball Gruder and presenting a FREE one-hour webinar:

Beating College-Bound Stress: Strategies & Tips for Better Parent-Student Communication

Monday, Sept 26 form 9-10 pm EDT.

Register http://SuccessfulCollegeParenting.webex.com

This is no ordinary chat. We will be giving specific how to’s on the 3 hot topics of $, high school senior year, and college-prep and taking questions from participants. We will talk about the quality of college-bound info (sources, expertise, and how current the info is). It’s all about how best to form a parent/college-bound student partnership for best chance of college process success.

POCSmom’s DIY Insight: The best way for families to navigate the college process is by working together with the knowledge to plan and make college affordable. Then parents and their college-bound students can lose the stress and find the fun to enjoy the wonderful college years.

POCSmom, the college-bound stress-buster will lead the way.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student

*POCSmom’s DIY Insight: College Lists and Student Loans

Cliché: Default on.    
POCS Reality: Colleges and the government keep track of student loan defaults.      

 

Horrible. Disturbing. Frightening. I’m talking about the growing student loan default rate. When forming a college list think ahead so these words don’t apply to your situation.

The Department of Education’s latest figures show a 2003 low default rate of 4.5% rose to a 2009 8.8%:  

http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html 

Although the late 80’s and 90’s had double digit default rates, they fell steadily until 2003. Now they’re at a 12 year high:

http://newmexicoindependent.com/71400/college-loan-default-rates-hits-12-year-high

and bankruptcy is growing among college grads:

http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/economy/bankruptcy_college/

POCSmom’s DIY Insight: Choose colleges that are affordable for your family now and after graduation. Add up available savings but don’t raid retirement funds. Project potential income and length of time to secure employment. College is supposed to help not hinder a student’s financial future.

If you need to borrow, choose a federal education loan not a private loan or home equity loan. Federal student and parent loans are regulated by the federal government, have special terms and interest rates, unique loan forgiveness programs, and do not require collateral.

Before borrowing, calculate monthly repayment amounts including the amount borrowed (principal) and borrowing costs (fees and interest). Make sure you can afford any loans.

Note: student loans are treated differently from other consumer loans under bankruptcy laws and it is much harder to obtain a discharge.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student

*POCSmom’s DIY Insight: Global College Ranking List

Cliché: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.    
POCS Reality: There are dozens of college ranking lists but your own one is the most important for you.      

 

This college ranking list is not out of this world but it comes close- it’s out of the country. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development compares higher education degree completion by 25-34 year-olds around the world and found the U.S. has slipped to #16 out of 37 developed nations:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/32/42/48666179.xls  

To read for it yourself, select your country and the source of comparison, then choose “Comparative” at the bottom.

Why has slippage occurred?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-falls-in-global-ranking-of-young-adults-who-finish-college/2011/08/22/gIQAAsU3OK_story.html :

“The stagnant U.S.performance on this key international benchmark reflects at least two trends: the rapid expansion of college attendance in Asia and Europe, and the continuing emphasis on four-year degrees in the United States while other nations focus far more on one- and two-year professional credentials.”

College Prep Expert Suzanne Shaffer puts the domestic ranking craze into perspective with a U.S.-China infographic comparison created by OnlineUniversityRankings.com:

http://networkedblogs.com/n9FRm

While U.S.student degree attainment may have dropped, U.S.universities continue to rank high as some of the world’s best schools (find the list under Comments):

http://s323096433.onlinehome.us/2011/08/22/pocsmom%e2%80%99s-insight-7-college-rankings-lists/

POCSmom’s DIY Insight: Ranking? Enough already. The most important ranking list is your own college list.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student