Steven Sirot, Co-Founder, College Benefits Research Group (CBRG), and Janet Loren, Partner, Certified Educational Planner (CEP) were guests on FreshOutlook, an Emmy-winning public affairs television news program, to discuss how students and parents are adapting to dynamic financial circumstances and handling the college application process.
“The number one thing parents can do when planning for college is to be proactive,” said Sirot, “The process has evolved. Parents are trying to relate it to their experience, but it is so different.” Sirot explained that although the cost of college has gone up about 5-9%, need-based financial aid has also significantly increased. A big reason why costs have gone up, he continues, is because schools can have a pool of money to use strategically by offering it to students they really want at their school.
Between 2007 and 2009, Sirot said there has been a massive increase in applications to state schools. “Students know they can get a quality education for a lot less money, but since more students are applying to these schools, it can be harder to get into the school itself or the program a student wants,” he commented.
Sirot and Loren both agree that students need to be prepared with skills which will enable them to be ready for the workforce. “It is so important for students to learn to think cognitively,” stated Loren, “they have to be able to take complex ideas and understand them, and to look for innovative ways to get things done.”