Paying for College Activities

ANALYZE: Analyzing a Student Aid Report (SAR)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Look at an actual Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Identify the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Review the financial information included to help create a picture of a student’s aid package.

ANALYZE: Student Loan Debt Crisis

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Watch a documentary, news series, or TED Talk regarding the student loan debt crisis in the US.
  • Complete a viewing guide with their “expert group”.
  • Meet in groups to share their learning.

CALCULATE: How Much Should I Borrow For College?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Examine the relationship between their choice of college and how much they might need to borrow in student loans.
  • Explore the average price, average debt, and estimated loan repayments at different universities.

CALCULATE: What’s the Value of College Education?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Calculate the value of a college education.
  • First, they will estimate it’s value. Then, they will use a chart from the Dept. of Labor to calculate the value (in career earnings) of different levels of education. Finally they will reflect on that value.

COMPARE: College Costs-Sticker Price vs. Net Price

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Compare the difference between the Sticker Price of college and the Net Price to see what they will actually be required to pay for their education.

COMPARE: College Needs vs. Wants

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • assess college expenses as needs or wants and then discuss their decisions with a partner.

COMPARE: Comparison Shopping in College

In this activity students will be able to:

  • Use a decision matrix to compare options for common college purchases
  • Research the possible products online and organize their findings.

COMPARE: Understanding the Types of Student Loans

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Compare the different types of student loans.
  • This includes Federal vs Private loans, the different types of Federal Loans (Perkins, Stafford/Direct, and Direct Plus), and subsidized vs unsubsidized loans.

CREATE: Monthly College Budget (Sp)

In this activity, students will:  

  • make choices regarding income in college
  • set aside money to pay yourself first in savings
  • create a monthly budget to follow during freshman year
  • and then reflect on the process of budgeting.
  • Available in English & Spanish

CREATE: 4-Year Plan for College (Sp)

  • Available in English & Spanish

DISCUSS: Paying for College with Your Parents (Sp)

Students will be able to

  • Available in English & Spanish

EXCEL: Three Students Budget & Unanticipated Changes

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • follow step-by-step directions and make decisions to complete a hypothetical monthly college budget using a spreadsheet
  • reflect on their choices.

RESEARCH: Finding College Scholarships and Grants (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Find scholarships and grants to help them pay for college.
  • Identify personal characteristics that can make them candidates for specific scholarships.
  • Find scholarships using internet platforms.
  • Develop a “plan of attack” for securing grants/scholarships.
  • Available in English & Spanish

RESEARCH: Paying for College Vocabulary (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Complete a Web Quest to define key vocabulary terms in the process of applying to college and paying for it, including: University vs College, Bachelor’s vs Master’s Degrees, Public vs Private Colleges, and In-State vs Out-of-State Tuition.
  • Available in English & Spanish

RESEARCH: What Should I Know Before Completing the FAFSA? (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Complete a Web Quest to identify key personal and financial information students will need before completing the FAFSA.
  • Search for questions to ask before submitting their FAFSA to ensure it is completed fully and correctly.
  • Available in English & Spanish