Financial Aid: Grades, Merit and Talking to Kids About Paying for College
It’s very uncomfortable
If you raise your eyebrows now, admins will feel for you. They also dislike the equity impact of Earnings Aid, even when affluent families receiving $ 20,000 off in many schools can help subsidize low-income families.
However, these enrollment managers also wonder why you are so shocked that they seek Earning Aid in the first place. After all, it’s terribly difficult to fundamentally change the character of a college – its location, the permanent faculty, the types of students who come year after year, what the brand stands for in the entry-level employment market, and 22-year-old law students.
But price? Administrators can change that in no time.
“I get impatient with people who think it’s an easy decision or that schools that do much more merit than we do are somehow morally corrupt,” said Brian Rosenberg, former president of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn I try to keep their schools open. “
In fact, it’s just a business or something.
“The better the student – and this includes both curriculum choices and grades – the more money will be required to change a student’s choice of enrollment,” said Robert Massa, a longtime administrator of admissions, financial assistance and Communications when he was working at Drew University in New Jersey before becoming a consultant.
But when I pointed out to Mr Massa that it was obvious that students should know how this works – so that they can take harder grades and aim for better grades if they so choose – he winced a little. “Take a heavy load because you want to,” he said. “Not because you think I want you to.”
If this all sounds pretty stressful, know that the experts in the field haven’t quite figured out what they’re going to say to their own children, either. Maureen McRae Goldberg is the former financial assistance director at Occidental College and now has a similar role at Santa Barbara City College. She seemed both resigned and annoyed when I asked what she would say to her daughter when the time comes.
Would it be ridiculous to explain that her high school achievement could be worth a six-figure discount? Is it even fair to bring it up when many schools – especially private colleges – fail to reveal which brand a teenager needs to hit to get any earnings support at all?
“I’m afraid so,” she said. “These are the same questions I’ve been asking for 20 years, and in my naivete I thought we’d fixed some of them now.”