3 Interesting Facts to Consider When Choosing a College

This time of year, it is important for high school Seniors (and Juniors) to consider their plans after high school. The FAFSA process begins on October 1st and check out our recent blog post for more information. Below are some things to consider whether to go to college or not as well as what majors to consider.

  • Below are jobs considered the best to have for the future:
JobGrowth Rate
Median Annual Salary
Physician Assistant35.3%$104,986
Nurse Practitioner35.2%$103,947
App Developer30.4%$100,857
Information Security Analyst27.2%$95,506
Physical Therapist27.1%$85,694
Marketing Research Analyst24.4%$62,828
Health Services Manager21.0%$96,517
Financial Manager19.1%$122,733
Computer Systems Manager14.4%$138,142

Source: Kiplinger. https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T012-S001-best-jobs-for-the-future-2018/index.html
*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-26. https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2017/article/occupational-projections-charts.htm#Chart%201   

  • There are high paying careers that do not require a college degree. We have several clients that are small business owners in common industries (i.e. construction, chemicals, etc.) that do very well for themselves. If college is not your thing, the best option is to learn a specific skillset whether it be a lineman (median income about $65,000) or a healthcare specialty. Here is an article that shows the top 10 jobs that make over $79,000 a year without a college degree.
  • If you are going to college an important aspect to consider is the Return on Investment (ROI) for the college you attend. This measure shows you how much you can expect to earn after college in relation to the cost for your education. Below is an interesting chart from payscale.com showing the Top 10 schools for ROI. Interesting to note some schools are specific technical schools like SUNY Maritime College and Colorado School of Mines.

There are many things to consider when deciding on what college to attend. If you would like to learn more please listen to our upcoming webinar on education planning.

The Time for Financial Aid is Now

If you or a child plans on attending college for the 2021-2022 school year (i.e. next fall) the most important step is to start the process early for financial aid. The first step is to complete the FAFSA, which is the government form used to determine how much financial aid the student may qualify for.

Who Should Complete The FAFSA?

High school seniors planning on attending college next fall or students who will return to school next year. The FAFSA must be completed annually so if you completed it before do not forget to complete the FAFSA this year.

When Should I Complete The FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available on October 1st, so complete the application as close to this date as possible.

Just A Few Reasons To Complete The FAFSA ASAP:

  • More Money – Studies have shown those who file early qualify for more federal and school aid than those who file late
  • Simplify the Process – The financial aid process is tedious and takes effort. Get this out of the way to focus on college applications or scholarship searches and applications
  • Better to Understand Your Options – Once the FAFSA is completed it is much easier to review and compare school acceptance offers
  • Give yourself more time – The earlier you complete the process the more aid you potentially will qualify for. For example, many scholarships have early deadlines and will look at your FAFSA, so don’t miss out on opportunities for more college aid

How Do I Complete The FAFSA?

Go to FAFSA.GOV and click on the link to start if you are new or returning. See below for reference:

What Information Is Needed To Complete The FAFSA?

You will want to have tax returns handy to make the process simpler. Below is a summary of some basic info you will need:

Included Assets

  • Checking and Savings
  • Investments
    • Brokerage Accounts
    • Stocks, Bonds, & Mutual Funds
    • CDs
  • Real Estate (Other Than Primary Residence)
  • UTMA/UGMA Accounts
  • College Savings Accounts (Reported As The Asset Owner)

Excluded Assets

  • Home Equity
  • Small Businesses (Owned and controlled by family)
  • Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Personal Possessions

Do Not Procrastinate! Completing the FAFSA can be overwhelming and causes many people to procrastinate. Complete the application on October 1st (or as close to it as possible) so that you do not have to worry about it and can focus on other areas to help you qualify for more financial aid! As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions and watch our upcoming webinar for more helpful tips for the FAFSA and qualifying for more financial aid!