Fall Starts College Admissions Journey: College Ave Student Loans Survey Finds 9 out of 10 Students Apply to Up to 10 Schools
Thursday, November 10th, 2022
For parents of high school seniors, fall kick starts the college admissions journey, with narrowing of college lists, applications, essays, tests and important financial aid forms. For families who are beginning the college journey, a recent College Ave survey of parents of undergraduates conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights™ highlights what parents can expect and how to financially prepare your high school senior (soon-to-be college freshman):
Get organized. While most parents (90%) reported their student will likely apply to up to 10 schools, 31% of parents said their student applied anywhere from 6 to 10 schools. And if they're applying to that many schools, there are multiple school admissions, financial and test deadlines to know. Make sure you and your child stay on top of these.
Enjoy this time. Surprisingly few families found the college admissions process stressful. Less than a third (31%) found filling out college applications stressful, and less than one in four (23%), found it stressful to create a college list. In fact, more than half (57%) enjoyed helping their child with their college essays.
Don't ignore financial factors. When it came to making the school choice decision, the primary factors were academic majors, location of the school and campus environment. These three factors were ranked highest while overall cost and good financial aid package ranked the lowest out of 7 factors. Perhaps this is why the cost of college took nearly 7 out of 10 families (71%) by surprise, according to the survey. Especially with the current market – 61% of parents are worried that inflation will affect their ability to pay for college – families should include how they plan to pay for college as part of their conversation when applying to schools.
"The fall is an exciting time for many families as they begin the college admissions journey," said Joe DePaulo, Co-Founder and CEO of College Ave Student Loans. "When parents in the College Ave survey were asked the top three words that came to mind about their child's college education, they said, 'Important,' 'Necessary' and 'Expensive.' Our survey highlights how much families value a college degree, as well as how much it could help and lessen financial surprises to have financial conversations as families begin to make their college lists."
In addition, the survey also asked parents of current college students their best advice for parents of college-bound children:
Encourage your child to apply for more scholarships: 79% of respondents agree. More than half (52%) of parents said they had difficulty finding college scholarships for their child so they encourage their peers to take the time to reach out to local organizations or their child's high school guidance counselor for support. An easy scholarship to consider entering is College Ave's $1,000 monthly sweepstakes.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): 72% of respondents agree. Of those families who received grants and scholarships, 30% reported they were part of their child's financial aid package, something they likely would not have received had they not filled out the FAFSA. The FAFSA form for the 2023-2024 academic year became available October 1, 2022 – make sure to fill it out as soon as possible as some aid is first come, first served.
Be prepared for unexpected costs: 71% of respondents agree. According to the surveyed parents, more than 1 in 3 found the costs associated with school and activities, their child's personal expenses, and books and supplies to be more than they originally budgeted.
Consider affordability when looking at schools: 44% of respondents agree and 59% of parents said to apply to up to five colleges to ensure some schools are within your budget range.
To learn more about how you can better prepare financially for college, visit: www.collegeavestudentloans.com.