ICS College Counseling Office Hosts "Paying for College" Information Session 

On Thursday, November 12, Indian Creek’s College Counseling Office hosted a session on Paying for College Guest speakers Kyle 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 Carolina joined ICS College Counseling Director Maggie Melson over Teams to share insights about strategies for finding colleges that can help cover the cost of attendance While financial aid is not considered the most exciting subject matter, Kyle and Brook took a light-hearted, fun, and practical approach by sharing their personal experiences with the Indian Creek community. 

As childhood friends growing up in small-town up-state New York, Kyle and Brook lamented the fact that they did not have a college counselor In fact, most people from their small town 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 to a college that had the resources to meet all of their demonstrated financial need After successfully graduating with little debt, Kyle and Brook pursued careers in education and set out to normalize the conversation around financial aid allowing families to make better decisions The advice they shared with our families is that when it comes to seeking need-based financial aid, students should apply to schools with large endowments. If families are interested in understanding a school’s potential ability to offer financial aid, they recommend researching the endowment per student. For example, University of 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 meet demonstrated need and will likely meet that need through grants vs. loans.  Please refer to the College Counseling Resource Tile for a list of links to websites featuring helpful information about need and merit aid as well as some sites with college endowment information.  

Kyle and Brook also advised families against assuming they will not qualify for need-based financial aid The EFC Calculator, available on the College Board website, gives families a rough estimate of their EFC (Expected Family Contribution) which is the amount of money a family is expected to contribute towards college costs each year. If there is a gap between the cost of attendance and the EFC, the student will likely qualify for aid. The EFC Calculator can also be found on each school’s admission or financial aid website.    

The ICS College Counseling Office works with juniors and seniors to craft their college lists considering academic, social, and financial goals.