ICS College Counseling Office Hosts "Paying for College" Information Session
On Thursday, November 12, Indian Creek’s College Counseling Office hosteda session onPaying for College. Guest speakersKyle Graham, Associate Head of School at Poly Prep Country Day School in New York and Brook Wolcott, Associate Director of College Counseling at Cannon School in North CarolinajoinedICS College Counseling DirectorMaggie MelsonoverTeams to share insights about strategies for finding colleges that can help cover the cost of attendance. While financial aid is notconsideredthe most exciting subject matter,Kyle and Brooktook a light-hearted, fun,and practical approach bysharingtheirpersonal experienceswith the Indian Creek community.
As childhood friends growing up in small-town up-state New York, Kyle and Brook lamented the fact that theydid nothaveacollege counselor. In fact, most people from theirsmalltown did not attend college because the assumption was that college was not affordable. Without much guidance or support, they managed to apply and get admitted toacollegethat had the resources to meetall oftheir demonstrated financialneed. After successfully graduating with little debt, Kyle and Brookpursued careers in education and set outto normalize the conversation around financial aidallowingfamiliestomake better decisions. The advice they shared with our families is that when it comes to seeking need-based financial aid, students should apply to schoolswithlarge endowments.If families are interested in understanding a school’s potential ability to offer financial aid, they recommendresearchingthe endowment per student. For example,Universityof Rhode Island has an endowment of $8,000 per student and Williams College(MA)has an endowment of $1,380,000 per student. Williams has the greater ability to meetdemonstratedneedand willlikely meetthatneed through grants vs.loans.Please refer to the College Counseling Resource Tile for a list oflinks to websites featuring helpful information about need and merit aid as well as some sites with college endowment information.
Kyle and Brookalso advised familiesagainstassumingtheywill notqualify forneed-based financialaid. TheEFC Calculator, available on theCollege Board website, givesfamilies a rough estimate of their EFC (ExpectedFamilyContribution)which is the amount of moneyafamily is expected to contribute towards college costs each year.If there is a gap between the cost of attendance andtheEFC, thestudentwilllikelyqualifyforaid.The EFC Calculator can also be found on each school’s admission or financial aidwebsite.
TheICSCollege CounselingOfficeworks with juniors and seniorstocraft their college listsconsideringacademic, social,and financialgoals.