March 23, 2016: The Value of a College

posted Jun 6, 2016, 3:56 PM by
Summit Public Schools
College Readiness Newsletter
March 23, 2016

Weekly College Update

Dear Senior Huskies, Snow Leopards, Bulldogs, and Thunderbirds,

We know that a college degree has tons of value-- higher earning potential and more career opportunities over your lifetime. However, how do you pick the college with the best value? Which school is going to give you the most “bang for your buck” so to speak?

This week’s focus is making your decision, part one: determining the value of a college.

There are a few factors that will help you compare the value of different colleges. They are:

  • The cost of earning your degree

    • This is not just the “sticker price” of the school. This is what it actually will cost you to go there after your financial aid package. Some schools give more generous financial aid offers than others.

  • The college’s graduation rate

    • What percentage of students earn their degree on time? Be cautious about schools that have a low graduation rate. This means that lots of their students end up dropping out or taking extra years to graduate.

  • The average salary of graduates

    • How much can you expect to earn after graduating from this school? This will give you some sense of how well they are preparing their graduates for good career options.

Luckily, there’s a great new tool from the U.S. Department of Ed where you can easily compare schools based on these three factors. It’s called theCollege Scorecard.

Let’s say, for example, that a student wants to attend college in southern California and has been accepted to CSU Northridge, UC Irvine, and Pomona College. Which one offers the best value? Often, people would guess the CSU because it has the lowest tuition price. However, let’s compare them on the scorecard:

In this case, the average cost of Northridge for students isn’t much lower than the UC or private school at all. And, their average graduation rate and salary are much lower. Even though Pomona is a private school, they do a great job of bringing down the cost by offering aid and their graduation rate is incredibly high! While you might pay slightly more for Pomona, you’re almost guaranteed to graduate on time, and that makes it a great value.

So, don’t base this important life decision on assumptions! Do the research. Get onto College Scorecard and see how your colleges stack up in terms of value.


Ms. Hannon
Director of College Readiness

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines
March UC admissions decisions timeline 
Scholarship Opportunities

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Who can apply: must be of Hispanic heritage and have a minimum 3.0 GPA
Amount of the award: $500- $5,000
Information/Application: HSF General College Scholarships
Deadline: March 30, 2016

SanDisk Scholars Program
Who can apply: seniors with minimum 3.0 GPA planning to major in computer science or engineering
Amount of the award: $10,000
Information/Application: SanDisk Scholars
Deadline: March 31, 2016

Lemburg Law "Stop Cellphone Robocalls" Scholarship
Who can apply: any senior planning to attend college
Amount of the award: $1,000
Information/Application: Stop Cellphone Robocalls
Deadline: March 31, 2016

NSHSS Foundation STEM Scholarship
Who can apply: high school seniors with at least 3.0 GPA going into STEM majors
Amount of the award: $1,000
Information/Application: NSHSS Foundation
Deadline: April 1, 2016

Project Yellow Light Scholarship
Who can apply: any high school student, must make a video PSA about distracted driving to enter
Amount of the award: up to $5,000
Information/Application: Project Yellow Light
Deadline: April 1, 2016

Asian American Women's Alliance Scholarship
Who can apply: Asian American or Pacific Islander students
Amount of the award: $500
Information/Application: AAWA 2016 Application Form
Deadline: April 2, 2016

LendEDU Scholarship
Who can apply: high school senior with at least 2.5 GPA
Amount of the award: $1,000
Information/Application: LendEDU Scholarship
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Changing Education, Changing Lives

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