For many, the idea of going to college conjures up thoughts of tuition and fees. Although tuition is a high percentage of the cost, other charges are known as direct (room and board) and indirect (health insurance) make up the total cost of education. But, just like tuition assistance (merit and need-based), there are a lot of differences. Differences between colleges, regions of the country and one’s actual enrollment status. Learning the differences early in the college planning experience is critical. In-state or out-of-state cost, public or private institutions, New England, Southeast or even Canadian schools, all present different variables to the question, why are there different educational costs. Understanding the true cost of attendance and how it differs is a very important part of the college search and selection experience. Learning about college costs is important to the evaluation of institutions and their affordability for students and their family.



Going to college continues to be a rite of passage for high school students but one must ask themselves, what path should I be following? Yes, as an Educational Adviser I endorse that everyone should advance their education after high school. However, I also believe that the path followed should match the desires and aspiration of the individual.  The plain truth is that not every student is prepared or ready to take on college-level academic work or the personal responsibility of managing college life. Today, 20% of college students withdraw after their second year. For many, it is due to the cost, but for others, it is a laundry list of reasons including preparedness. The other reason to use caution when considering one’s path after high school is that many students do not graduate within 4 years or even at all. It is critical to investigate all options for students to pursue their education after high school. It takes courage and guidance to separate oneself from the pack!!


How did you go about finding your first job, renting an apartment or buying your first home? Did you dive right in or have a plan? You probably considered factors such as cost, readiness, and location.  Did you seek out assistance or go it alone? How did that all work out? Could a plan have helped?

Thinking about one’s educational path after high school is a major step. These next steps are huge, overwhelming and can create stress and anxiety. It can affect everyone, a student, parent(s) and extended family. Stress can be felt at school, work, while we’re driving or even when standing in the grocery store line. It can affect one’s health, performance, and relationships. Having walked the walk with my own four students and while working with countless others, I can say it is real. Having a plan and utilizing resources can take the edge off. A good plan will keep everyone focused and on track, aware of deadlines and provide direction. It could be a plan found on the internet, the guidance department or one managed with the assistance of a dedicated college adviser. Investing in one’s educational path after high school is a major step. Plan to succeed!!


AHA Moments for Parents 

  • I’m a parent of a sophomore in high school. Is it, too early to start thinking about paying for college?
    • Never – Learning now about college cost and tuition assistance is the key to a successful and affordable college selection.
  • My middle school student is interested in technology. Are there options at the high school level?
    • YES- High school students can pursue an interest in technology at many technical-vocational schools and through STEM Program.
  • My high school senior didn’t apply yet! Can they still apply? College and universities are actively accepting applications for Freshman and Transfer students.
    • If your student is interested in attending in September call and set up a time for an introduction!!
  • Our income is too high, we won’t qualify for financial aid, so why apply?
    • Yes, income is part of the calculation. Other factors including household size are also part of the formula. It is important to learn and understand the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and how tuition assistance is determined before jumping to conclusions. Applying takes 30 minutes.
  • College is too expensive, I’ll never get my degree.
    • Not True – Multiple paths to higher education after high school is 100% possible. Associate to Bachelors, working and attending part-time or entering an apprentice program are just a few. Learning the paths and following the one that is best for a student and family is the key!!

Have a question, concern or have your own “AHA” moment, call, text [617-240-7350] or email tom@getcollegegoing.com