Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. My daughter is graduating from high school. We are in the process of looking over her finances in order for her to decide which direction she should take as far as colleges go. I am a single parent of three children and do not have the financial means to give her much support. I was discussing my concerns about this with my friend and she remembered that your office had information in your Troubleshooter article last year. She also said that you had offered consumers a helpful brochure for college bound kids. Is that brochure still available through your office? B.R., Morrisville.

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CB West student-athletes head to college

by Sami Evans, senior, Central Bucks High School West

As the school year comes to a close, there is only one thing on seniors’ minds: college. And for some student-athletes at Central Bucks High School West, the excitement has already begun, as they look forward to continuing to play their sport throughout college.

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Five tips to maximize the return on investment in your child’s college career

submitted by Michael Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA, Yardley Wealth Management, LLC

This graduation season there are the usual stories about student debt accompanied by news of the highest-paying college majors. If you want your child to be miserable, encourage them to pick a major by its current pay.

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Choosing the right college

by Emilie Nazario, senior, Morrisville High School

Senior year is a stressful time for some students. Many of them struggle deciding the next step toward their future. It is an important decision, which requires time to evaluate. Even though this decision can be difficult, there are steps to make the process easier.

The first step to finding the perfect college is discovering one’s passion. Whether it is becoming a doctor or the next prodigy, this is a major step. With this information a student can find colleges that have their specific major or curriculums to help them reach their goals.

The next step is to visit the colleges you have the most interest in. This will help narrow down the list of colleges to a few that are acceptable.

Next, students should apply to colleges. Once receiving acceptance letters, the tricky part begins.

Tuition is a major deciding factor when it comes to choosing a college. Every year college tuition increases, which makes it harder for families to afford. Therefore, students should consider colleges that offer good financial aid packages and scholarships. Also, students should ask their guidance counselors about additional scholarships that are available; this can make a major difference. Even though money is an important factor, it is honestly up to the student to make the decision of what they truly want.

The decision of choosing between good colleges is the most difficult. If one still has trouble deciding, they should look over the remaining colleges again and see what they have to offer. Students should visit again and see if they still prefer the living arrangements in one college as compared to the others, or if they prefer certain classes at one college, etc.

Overall, it’s all about the feeling one gets when they find the right school. For example, former MHS student Brenmarie Rentas said, “When I first visited Cairn University, I felt instantly like I belonged there.” This feeling of belonging and joy will help the students make their decision; one should trust their gut instinct.

Even though selecting a college is a tough decision, there are ways to make it easier. Every senior out there is currently struggling with this decision. However, once the decision is made, there’s nothing left to worry about. Senior year should be filled with fun and enjoyment.

Good luck to the class of 2014, and may their futures bring much success!