A Student's Perspective: Choosing the Right Financial Fit
April 17, 2014
Be FutureWise About COLLEGE
By: Cambria Arvizo
This is the second in a series of two guest posts about financial considerations that contribute to making the best college choice.
College decision season is one of high anxiety. Once you get those big envelopes in the mail, however, all of the essays, late nights of studying, and group projects become worth it. But this isn’t the end of it. Once you receive those acceptances, you now have to choose where you will spend the next four years. There are all kinds of things to consider: location, academics, reputation of the school, extra curricular activities, and at the top of your list (if it’s not, then it should be) is money.
This is probably the least enjoyable topic regarding your college education, but it is one of the most important by far. It is important to apply to schools that are within a reasonable tuition range. If it’s your dream school and it seems like too much money, apply. You never know what financial aid you will get, and you should definitely apply to your dream school. However, as far as the rest of the schools go, whether they are reaches, targets or back ups, you have to keep a sound financial perspective.
When it came down to it, I was choosing between two universities in Boston. Both are great academic institutions, however I wasn’t quite sure which one was the right fit. Once I received my financial aid packages, I took one look at the extremely generous scholarship given to me by one, and I knew this was an opportunity I had to strongly consider. So I decided to visit. Within half an hour of being on campus, I felt at home and like I belonged there, and that is why I chose to accept my offer of admission.
The university I chose provides me the opportunity to graduate with little to no debt. This is not something many college students can say. Equally as important, it is everything I ever wanted in a college and more. So reach for your dreams and make sure you choose the school that is right for you. However, keep in mind your future and the realistic financial situation of your family.
College is expensive—very expensive. It’s a tricky balance, but in the end, it’s best to make the smartest financial, academic, and social decision for you for what will hopefully be some of the best and most exciting years of your life.
Cambria Arvizo is a college student who resides in the Boston area. She is loving life at her chosen university, where she'll graduate debt free.