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Friday, July 8, 2011

Californians must try harder!

With the latest round of applications completed, the University of California undergraduate admissions results are not surprising.  In an era of budget shortfalls, the UC system strongly turned to out of state residents to help balance the books.

At the system's top 3 schools, the numbers tell the story.  At Berkeley, the Freshman class will include a whopping 29.8% non-Californians.  UCLA came in #2 with 18.3% with UCSD right on it's heals with 18.2% of the class coming from outside the Golden State.

From a financial point of view, this move makes perfect sense.  As UCSD Professor Wayne Cornelius put it, "We need every bit of funding we can get to maintain the quality of education for all of our students."  The Board of Regents meeting last March signaled that such a change was in the works.  With the incredibly deep budget cuts they faced, they were forced to compromise somewhere - on academic quality, access to local students, or affordability.  The numbers aren't out yet from the financial aid offices but there will certainly be a reduction in the percentage of need met and scholarship dollars given.  The money just isn't there.

What does this mean?  The answer to that question depends on where you live and which UC campus you are considering.  The top three schools will be harder than ever to gain acceptance.  Overall, the percentage of non-Californians in the freshman class shifted from 8 to 12.3% despite the regent's decision to cap it at 10%.  For UCSD, for example, the increase was from 9.2% to 18.2%.  Jumps like that leave far fewer seats for California residents.  At Berkeley, only 70% of the seats were available to Californians.  Competition for these schools was already fierce.  It just got even more so.  For those living outside California, it is an opportunity to attend one of these excellent schools - just be ready to pay handsomely for the privilege.

What does that mean for you?  Planning for college needs to start now.  Preparing a student to be a desirable candidate at the school of his or her dreams takes time and planning.  Starting Freshman year is best.  Additionally, savvy funding planning is a must.  Don't wait - call this summer, before others fill all our open spots in your graduating class!  Serving families all across the USA with personal attention since 2004. (858)-705-0043

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuitions Explode, but that's not all...

In the Department of Education's latest report, 22 Cal State University system campuses are leading the nation with tuition increases ranging from 35 to 47% from 07/08 to 09/10.  At the same time, the national average tuition was $6, 397.  All twenty-two CSU schools had tuitions below that.

This means that, as far as tuition goes, CSU schools are still a good deal, if you can get in.  Given the significant reduction in the number of students being accepted at each campus, admissions is much more challenging than before.

Looking at the bigger picture, we notice that many of these schools have fairly low 6 year graduation rates.  Most students at these schools do NOT graduate in four years.  When planning college funding as well as deciding which schools to target requires taking all these factors into consideration.  Cost, expected admissions, success climate on campus, length of time to graduate, and financial aid possibilities are but a few of the myriad factors a family needs to consider as they finalize their school selections and funding plans.

Doing something new is always a challenge, and we all tend to make mistakes the first time or two.  You know the story - build something, then figure out what to do with the "extra" pieces that were overlooked the first time.  Unfortunately, when it comes to preparing our children  and our finances for college, there is no second chance.  That's why having a seasoned, certified, professional college planner guiding you is invaluable.  You will save untold hours as well as significant dollars.

Like any excellent professional, I work with a limited number of clients in order to ensure the highest level of service possible. Call today, ask if there is room in my practice for your family, and arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your student's hopes and dreams and the necessary steps to achieve those dreams! 858-705-0043