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College Choice: How Important is Financial Fit?

3493082186_52d4d2807f_z-150x150Acceptance letters are in!  Seniors have less than a month to finalize their college choice.  Most seniors have applied to multiple colleges, and potentially found two, three, or more acceptance letters sitting in their mailbox or popping up in their inbox.  While some find the choice is a no-brainer, others are stumped.  Out of five acceptances, perhaps not a single one stands out as the golden opportunity.  So, how do you choose? Does the cost matter?  How do you measure your ROI (return-on-investment)?


Your choices may be pitted against one another as equally good academic and social fits, but what about the financial fit? Which college measures up as the best investment based on financial returns for your student?

ROI, as defined by PayScale, refers to the college’s net cost combined with the length of time required to earn that amount after securing a job.

Recently, PayScale released their yearly list of top colleges based upon ROI.  They offer a quick review of their top performers in their “Best Value Colleges.” According to PayScale, majors and career choices matter as well as college choice.  Science majors would see Cal Poly and San Jose State topping the chart, while students of Economics would mull over Rank #1 University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley at #2.

“Results May Vary”

The report lists estimated ROI, the average 4 year cost (with and without financial aid), graduation rate, and more.  Keep in mind the data is mined from average statistics at each college, not data down to the individual student.

Results do vary by student.  Every student will pay a different amount for college (it’s true!), so you’ll need to calculate your own ROI, using PayScale’s salary estimates for the career you are seeking.  ROI provides an analytical, practical means to assist in determining your final college choice.

We recommend keeping financial fit in the forefront of your decision making process, along with academic and social fit.  The cost of college does matter to the majority of families.  Consider ROI as one determining factor to make your ultimate decision.

This blog was provided by Westface College Planning.  For more tips and information, sign up for a free College Funding workshop or webinar or call us at (650) 587-1559.

Photo Credit: circulating

Benefits of Being A SAC Member

As mentioned in a previous post, GiveTeens20® is currently looking for 10 awesome interns to join our Student Advisory Council. There are some great benefits and opportunities to joining our SAC internship. Instead of having us explain what they are, we decided to interview two current SAC members and have them tell you about their experiences.

Cat Tran

Cat Tran

Status: Graduating senior at American High School. She is currently on the SAC as an intern and the secretary of SAC.

Interests/Hobbies: Tran enjoys singing and has been in several performances at her high school. She loves watching television shows that revolves around suspense and is currently obsessed with “Grey’s Anatomy”.

What do you do as a SAC Member?

“I provide teen input and opinions on certain topics like teen employment, and trending topics that would hit home to a lot of teenagers. I also contribute in community service events like the Ohana Health Fair and Fremont Street Eats, but I am pretty much a representative. I attend these events and I talk about the purpose of what this internship is or on a broader scale what GT20 is.”

The benefits of being on SAC: “I got to implement my interpersonal skills that I developed over the years, as well as my time with GT20 for Kaiser Permanente. I think it has served me really well in terms of building relationships with co-workers and patients. That’s an asset that I really value.”

The opportunities/experiences: “I have a lot of memorable moments with the SAC. I feel like every meeting is refreshing and exciting. Not only do I get to voice my opinions and offer innovative ideas to the GT20 board, I feel like I have a purpose. I have all of these cool ideas that will attract teenagers and I love that Kathy is open to hearing all of my suggestions… At the same time, I enjoy going to all of these events…I feel like communications skills, getting myself out there, getting exposure, and getting connected with people will help me network. GT20 provides that for me.”

What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying but isn’t sold on the idea just yet?

“I would say an internship looks way better than a volunteer on a [college] resume. Also, the fact that you’re a teenager working for an organization that revolves around teens benefits.”

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GiveTeens20® is looking for interns!

Ribbon cutting picture

Kathy and the Student Advisory Council.


GiveTeens20®, an education non-profit, is currently looking for 10 enthusiastic, creative minds to join our Student Council Advisory Internship this year. If you are a hardworking freshmen or sophomore in high school and not afraid to voice out your opinions, this internship is definitely for you. This internship is unpaid, but you will learn about business and your strengths will be enhanced. Volunteer hours will be available for your great work.

As a SAC member, you will…

  • Help guide the direction of GiveTeens20® (your opinion matters A LOT)
  • Participate in events and special projects
  • Attend monthly meetings

GiveTeens20® is an education non-profit that encourages and equips teens with no-cost, easy-to-use tools and resources to help them find their career ‘fit’.

If you are interested in applying, fill out our application here. If you have further questions, please email us at info@giveteens20.org . We hope to hear from you all soon!