The High School College Night: Parent Pity Party?

Attending one of those high school college nights is like taking a reverse steroid: the information will pump you down, not up.  To be fair, it’s not a total waste of time because you’ll experience – up close and personal – the brutality of truth.

You’ll witness any number of eager speakers delivering an unforgiving blizzard of details on how to fill out forms and other mindnumbing essentials about college planning. These persons just so happen to be – brace yourself – a financial aid or admissions officer from a college. Talk about friendly foxes lecturing the unsuspecting chickens.

Speakers will use the offensive 4-letter word – LOAN – like a blunt instrument, swinging it without mercy for two punishing hours.

Your local high school neglected to warn you that tonight marks the date of your first nervous breakdown.

Why would a college financial aid person even hint at a single legal way to get more money from their coffers that are found in, say, my book? Would a banker give you his bank’s access code so you could easily rob it?

Part of the college’s strategy is to keep you uninformed and to get you to spend more of your money, not to give you theirs. And they love lecturing you on how to pay their overly inflated fees. Think I’m exaggerating? I suggest (not really) that you attend one of these nights.

Here’s a sample announcement from a high school’s website on their financial aid night:

PARENT FORUM COLLEGE FINANCING SEMINAR An experienced financial aid professional will conduct the Seminar. Topics:
􀁸 The college financial aid application process;
􀁸 Completing the FAFSA;
􀁸 Resources for scholarships and grants;
􀁸 Determining financial aid eligibility;
􀁸 Student loans, parent loans, and payment plans;

In sum, these nights are a lecture on the required paperwork and cost headaches with more debt as your solution. In two hours, you will suffer tazer-like moments of depression. Okay, I exaggerate, but I suspect you get my point.

Never discussed at these high school college nights are proven pro-retirement ways to pay for the bulk of college expenses. Never mentioned are the advantages of community colleges. God forbid! That would be discussing the competition, and in fairness to the speaker, we shouldn’t expect a lecture on the competition.

You will NEVER see or hear from a representative from a community college. What’s that tell you?

By the way, Bill Gates’s children qualify for financial aid (Stafford Loan), so “eligibility” – as suggested on the high school’s website – is totally misleading and a non-issue. Going to a high school college night is a self-inflicted injury in a near pity-party atmosphere: parents understand that they will be innocent victims to a forthcoming robbery of their finances.

Your local high school is a well-intentioned but unintended co-conspirator with the colleges in keeping parents ignorant of how to save money on skyrocketing college costs. Because I make a profit, I don’t get invited to speak at high schools on the topic of financial aid. Yet the school will invite a college official to give a seminar on this subject, with a jaw fully mobile on how parents can get into more debt.

No one even realizes the college official represents a business entity that is price-gouging the very parents the well-intentioned high school wants to help. The road to hell is paved with…
Click here to learn what you need to know about college planning and how to reduce its stressful elements.

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