High school graduation rates reach historic high. But grads may wonder, now what?

How to win college scholarships!According to a recent US News and World Report article, “High school graduation rates in the U.S. are at an all-time high. At 84 percent, the national rate means that more than 4 out of 5 high school students earn a diploma in four years, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.” And, in Delaware, that number is even higher at 86.7%!

But, the numbers only tell part of the story. For high school graduates without a plan, the prospects can be bleak. Despite record-breaking employment rates nationwide, the earning potential for high school grads versus college grads is still wide. A recent study from Georgetown University found that the median yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500. That’s $1 million more in earnings over a lifetime.

And, take-home pay is just the beginning.

The article Benefits of Earning a College Degree from Education Corner notes, “… most jobs that require a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral or professional degree tend to also provide more benefits. This can include health care, retirement investment, travel and other perks. These types of benefits are rarely offered for high-school-level jobs.” And, those benefits can add up quickly.

How to afford college? Scholarships!

For many families, the decision to send a child to college is based purely on finances. And, with good reason! For example, according to CollegeData.com, here are the total Costs of Attendance (including tuition, room and board, fees and expenses) for some of the country’s most recognizable universities:

  • University of Chicago (IL):  $74,526
  • Columbia University (NY): $74,173
  • Georgetown University (DC): $72,214
  • Harvard University (MA): $67,580
  • Princeton University (NJ): $66,950
  • Duke University (NC): $53,744
  • Yale University (CT): $53,395

And, price increases are not limited to the country’s most prestigious universities. Once seen as a more affordable option, state universities have also dramatically increased their costs. Reflecting major infrastructure improvements, increased academic options, and rapidly rising national rankings, local state university tuitions may surprise unsuspecting parents.

  • University of Delaware (DE): In-state: $27,792 and Out-of-state $47,782
  • Penn State (PA):  In-state: $36,344 and Out-of-state: $51,572
  • Rowan University (NJ): In-state: $30,985 and Out-of-state: $39,453
  • University of Maryland (MD): In-state: $26,093 and Out-of-state: $49,300

The good news for cash-strapped families is that scholarships offer “free money.” Unlike loans, scholarships don’t need to be repaid. This means fewer out-of-pocket costs and the potential to graduate with less student debt.

In Delaware, the Department of Education offers college-bound students an easy way to begin searching local and national scholarships in the online Scholarship Compendium . This is a free, mobile way for students to find scholarships by category and deadline. Students and parents can search scholarships by eligibility requirements such as county of residency, ethnicity or race, and profession – about 15 categories in all – as well as alphabetically or by due date. Users then can drill down for more details, including application information. To get started, visit Scholarship Compendium .

In addition, Back to Basics has created a database of college scholarships for all ages, majors, and interests. To see even more tuition-busting opportunities, visit our Scholarships tab.

And, don’t forget to visit our comprehensive guide How to WIN Scholarships for helpful tips on getting organized, writing essays, and winning those scholarships.  Remember, an investment in education is an investment in the future.  

Need more help? Back to Basics offers a college essay writing workshop to get you started!

College Essay Writing Workshop (11th – 12th grades): Don’t leave your college choice up to chance! The college essay is a crucial part of your admissions package… and the one piece that busy students most often overlook or rush through. This workshop will help move your application package to the top of the stack with a well written, thoughtfully edited, interesting, and memorable essay.

$99 for workshop:

  • June 25 -28, 2018            Mon/Wed/Thurs   10:30 a.m. – 12:00 pm
  • July 30 –Aug 2, 2018       Mon/Wed/Thurs   10:30 a.m. – 12:00 pm
  • Aug 6 – Aug 9, 2018        Mon/Wed/Thurs   10:30 a.m. – 12:00 pm

CLICK HERE TO ENROLL for the College Essay Writing Workshop.

About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. in Delaware

Back to Basics offers 1-on-1 tutoring in 60+ subjects, professional development, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior specialists, reading specialists, paras, ELL services, homebound services, RTI support, psycho-educational testing and test prep. Plus, Back to Basics Private School is Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School for K-12. We also offer summer school and educational summer camps, original credit and credit recovery, along with unique enrichment options such as music, art and photography. Click Here to learn about summer camps, summer school, original credit and enrichment options!

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