Obtaining A Scholarship in Tough Times
The nation’s recession and credit market freeze are forcing parents of college aged children to look at different option than they were considering even a few months ago. Families are having to make choices based on affordability rather than academic merits. The Chicago Tribune took a look at a few Illinois families struggling with difficult decisions. Here is some of what they reported:
“Illinois students who may have applied to elite colleges-they are still applying there but are also applying to financially feasible schools, such as state schools,” said Jean Childers, a career center assistant at Naperville Central High School.
“What we don’t want is a student to apply for five great schools, get accepted into all of them and then have Mom and Dad saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, we thought you would get a lot more in scholarships,’ ” Childers said. “Scholarship dollars have dried up at many schools.” Over the last year, high school seniors have applied to an average of 7.3 universities and colleges-up from 5.4 the prior year-as they try to ensure getting accepted into a school they can afford, said Craig Powell, CEO of ConnectEDU, a college planner. “We have seen 60 to 65 percent of students are applying to public versus private schools,” Powell said. “A year ago that was just the inverse.”
Of course, athletes compete for scholarship dollars on a different playing field. While athletic departments across America are feeling the crunch as well, they hold up quite well when compared to academia at large. But, with the crunch it does mean that student athletes need to understand the financial aid process better than ever.
Editor’s Note: A special thanks the National Collegiate Scouting Association for this article.