College Students and Their Families Face Tough Choices

College students face some tough choices as they look to how they will continue their college education that was likely disrupted in some way by the pandemic during this past spring semester. Some classes are all online or partially online and some students can’t fully pursue their courses of study because of the need for people to keep their distance from each other.

Good Housekeeping offers some perspective and advice for families who are weighing their options for the fall semester and beyond. Since no one can really predict what will happen, students and their families have to consider the entire upcoming school year.

College costs will remain the same or rise.

While some colleges offered emergency funds, moving assistance (for those leaving dorms) and in some cases, partial refunds this past spring, students may not see the same for the fall. You may argue that a college that is offering online-only or hybrid course should charge you less but many schools will see budgets shrink because of lower enrollment. Colleges still have campuses that they will need to maintain with smaller amounts of tuition money.

Is it worth it?

Whether you study economics or not, students will need to figure out how to do a cost-benefit analysis quickly. You can ask your Fee-Only financial planner for help. If you have already started at a college or university, you will have to decide if continuing there with whatever they are offering is worth it based on your course of study. Students who planned to start their first year of college in the fall also have to decide if what is being offered is good way to launch their journey into higher education.

Gap year?

The article also advises students who are considering a gap year. A student may not benefit from the year off if they do not have a plan for what they will do instead of attending classes. Whatever students do should still put them on the path toward their goals and  while that doesn’t necessarily have to be a job or an internship, the experience gained should be meaningful.

©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. College Students and Their Families Face Tough Choices is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™

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Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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