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  Preparing for College while in High School

While you are in high school you should prepare a vita or a resume.  At the top, perhaps centered,  it should list your name, address, city, state, phone number, and email address. 

It should also contain the following sections if you have things to enter:
    -Work experience
    -Community service
    -Volunteer activities, including sports
    -Language skills

You will need this information when you apply for college and you also need it when you apply for jobs. 


Is College Worth the Cost?

Invest smartly.  Get a college degree!

WASHINGTON:  The 3 million Americans who graduated from high school last spring have had to grapple with a big decision: whether to continue with their educations this fall.   In today's economic climate, a growing number of families are questioning the value of higher education.  Will an investment in college pay off?  Or will it simply be a high-cost ticket to the ranks of the unemployed?

We've just completed a study that draws on a variety of data to help answer those questions, and our research suggests that college is not only worth it; it's probably going to be the best investment a person makes in a lifetime.  Even though the cost of tuition, room, board and lost wages is substantial, and even though the job market remains tough even for college graduates, the evidence is unequivocal: Those with college degrees, on average, earn far more than those without them.

First, we looked at what we call the Class of the Great Recession -- those young adults who graduated from college during the last three years.  The results surprised us.  We've all seen the headlines about how difficult it is for new graduates to find work in these tough economic times.  But almost 90 percent of these young college graduates were employed in 2010, compared with only 64 percent of their peers who did not attend college but went straight on to look for work.  Even more astounding, the college graduates are making, on average, almost double the annual earnings of those with only a high school diploma.  And this advantage is likely to stick with them over a lifetime of work.  For example, at age 50 a college graduate earns about $46,500 more per years than the average person with ony a high school diploma.

A second way we assessed the value of higher education was to compare the rate of return for the investment in a college degree against other possible investment vehicles.  by any measure, a college degree is a big investment that requires a lot of upfront time and money.  When you add up the costs of tuition, books and fees, as well as the loss of earnings from going to school rather than working, the average cost of a four-year degree is about $102,000.  Of course this is an average; some schools cost far more, while others cost less.

Let's assume that you're a high school graduate and you have $102,000 to invest in your future.  Is college your best bet?  Or would you be better off putting the money into an alternative investment, like stocks or bonds, and earning the salary of a typical high school graduate over your lifetime?

By any financial measure, the investment in a college degree is the winning choice, with a rate of return of a whopping 15.2 percent a year on the $102,000 investment for those who earn the average salary for college graduates.  This is more than double the average rate of return in the stock market during the last 60 years (6.8 percent), and more than five times the return to investments in corporate bonds (2.9 percent), gold (2.3 percent), long-term government bonds (2.2 percent), or housing (0.4 percent).

This high rate of return translates intto large differences in earnings.  Over a lifetime, the average college graduate earns roughly $570,000 more than the average person with only a high school diploma.  In addition, statistics show that college graduates on average live longer lives than high school graduates and tend to have higher job satisfaction.

Some high school students may be reluctant to choose the college path because they believe their experiences will be different and these benefits won't apply to them.  But economic research concludes that many more students would gain from college than currently opt to attend.

We live in difficult economic times filled with challenging financial tradeoffs.  There is no guarantee with regard to any investment, but the evidence on education is clear: The more education you obtain, the better off your job prospects and future earnings.

This article was written by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney for the Los Angeles Times where it appeared on August 22, 2011.  MIchael Greenstone directs the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and is a professor of environmental economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Adam Looney is policy director of the Hamilton Project and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 



Ohio High School Rankings

The following list of Akron area high schools was created by Dr. Madhav Batta, who thought that it would be of interest to the Bhutanese Community, particularly for those who are contemplating moving in the next few months.  While he recognizes that the quality of a student's education is highly dependent on the relationships they have with individual teachers,  it is also important to be aware that the graduates of different high schools have differential success in their postsecondary (college, trade school) education.



Local and State Ranking of 28 Akron Metropolitan Area High School Rankings

(Explanation of numbers: 8/828 means this school was ranked eighth (8th) in the State of Ohio)
(Explanation of numbers: 1/28 means this school was ranked first (1st) in the local Akron area)

Akron Early College High School Akron City 8/828, 1/28
Solon High School Solon City  10/828, 2/28
Hudson High School Hudson City 18/828, 3/28
Norton High School Norton City 74/828, 4/28

Tallmadge High School Tallmadge City 74/828, 4/28
Copley High School Copley‐Fairlawn City 83/828, 5/28
Stow‐Munroe Falls High School Stow‐Munroe Falls 119/828, 6/28
Twinsburg High School Twinsburg City 142/828, 7/28

Manchester High School Manchester Local 236/828, 8/28
Firestone High School Akron City 274/828, 9/28
Field High School Field Local, Mogadore 274/828, 9/28
Cuyahoga Falls High School Cuyahoga Falls City 287/828, 10/28

Coventry High School Coventry Local 384/828, 11/28
Theodore Roosevelt High School Kent City 426/828, 12/28
Southeast High School Southeast Local, Ravenna 514/828, 13/28
Mogadore High School Mogadore Local 540/828, 14/28

Barberton High School Barberton City 547/828, 15/28
Ravenna High School Ravenna City 577/828, 16/28
Springfield High School Springfield Local, Akron 631/828, 17/28
Summit Academy Secondary‐Akron Summit Academy Secondary‐Akron 693/828, 18/28

Akron Alternative Academy Akron City 705/828, 19/28
Garfield High School Akron City 713/828, 20/28
Kenmore High School Akron City 716/828, 21/28
Akron Digital Academy Akron Digital Academy 718/828, 22/28

North High School Akron City 720/828, 23/28
Life Skills Center of Summit County Life Skills Center of Summit County 721/828, 24/28
East High School Akron City 731/828, 25/28
Buchtel High School Akron City 759/828, 26/28

Life Skills Center of North Akron Life Skills Center of North Akron 764/828, 27/28
Life Skills Center of Akron Life Skills Center of Akron 776/828, 28/28

(Based on the data from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education, and Ohio Department of Education)




College Financial Aid Overview

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, Mr. David Marstellar, Assistant Director of the Student Financial Aid Office at the University of Akron did a presentation on "How to Pay for College."  Two interpreters assisted him in addressing about thirty local refugees from around the world.  Using Mr. Marstellar's presentation as the basis, this Web page was created for the benefit of those who were unable to attend. 



Why do you want to go to college?  Many students want to go to college in order to get a good job.  Many professional positions and office jobs (doctor, lawyer, teacher) require four or more years of college.  Typically jobs in factories, manufacturing, and service occupations do not require a college education.  Some jobs like policeman or fireman may require some college.   


Can you go to college?  You can go to college if you have an I-94 card, a Social Security Card, and an Alien Registration Number.  More importantly, in the United States almost all classes are taught in English, so you will need good language skills.  You should also have typing and computer skills.  You need to be aware that the cost of going to college in the United States is the responsibility of students and their parents.  Public schools through grade 12 are paid for by the state and local governments, but colleges charge students tuition and fees.


How much does college cost?  For the 2011-2012 academic years, typical costs for attending  Kent State University would be approximately:

Application fee: $40
In-state Tuition and Fees: $9,030
Room and Board: $8,416
Books and Supplies: $1,320
Personal Expenses: $2,430
Transportation: $1,820

The total costs for one academic year is approximately $23,056.  If you can live at home and commute to campus you would not have to pay the $8416 for Room and Board, but you would need a car, gas, insurance, and parking.  Other universities, community colleges, and regional campuses may have lower costs. 


How can I pay for my college costs?  You and your parents are responsible for paying for your college costs.  Depending on your family's ability to help you pay for college, you may also be able to get financial aid. 


What is financial aid?  Financial aid is money made available to help students and their parents pay for a student's college costs.  Financial aid usually comes in the form of grants, scholarships, or loans.  The purpose of financial aid is to help students pay for college.



What is a grant?  A grant is financial aid provided to a student by the federal government, state government, or the college.  Grants are based on need as determined by the FAFSA application.  Grants do not have to be paid back.  The federal government of the United States makes available Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).  These are available to eligible undergraduates pursuing their first baccalaureate or professional degree; can be used at any college; are based on EOA (?), EFC (?), and enrollment status; and can be for up to about $4,000.


What is Federal Work-Study?  Federal Work-Study is money undergraduate or graduate students earn while attending college.  They work at an on-campus or off-campus job and the money they earn does not have to be repaid.  Federal Work-Study Students earn at least federal minimum wage.   



What is a scholarship?  A scholarship is financial aid provided to a student based on academic achievement, athletic or artistic talent, or need.  Scholarships are sometimes provided to some students by the college a student attends.  Scholarships do not have to be paid back.


What is a loan?  A loan is money you or your parents borrow that must be paid back with interest either while you are enrolled or six to nine months after you graduate.



Who is eligible for federal student aid?  The most basic eligibility requirements for financial aid are that a student must have

  • a high school diploma or General Educational Development certificate,

  • financial need,

  • a valid Social Security Card,

  • an I-94 card,

  • registered with the Selective Service System if male between the ages of 18 and 25.


How do I apply for federal student aid?  You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.  You can do it on the Web or by downloading a PDF file and filling out the paper version.  It is a good idea to download a copy and practice filling it out before completing it on the Web.  You can call 1-800-433-3243 for information.  You can apply beginning January 1, 2011 for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Click HERE to see or download a copy of the FAFSA application form.  Colleges and states often use information from the FAFSA form to award nonfederal aid.  Their deadlines are usually early in the year.


What is the Student Air Report (SAR)?  After you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Air Report, or SAR.  Your SAR will contain the information you report on your FAFSA application and usually includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is an index used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.  Review your SAR information and make any corrections or changes, if necessary.  The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will get your SAR data electronically.


Is there anything else I should do?  Make sure the financial aid office at each school you're interested in attending has all the information needed to determine your eligibility.  Each school will send you an award letter showing the amount and types of aid (from all sources) it will offer you. 


Terms and Definitions
  FAFSA FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The FAFSA is an electronic form used to determine eligibility for need-based aid.  the FAFSA is the primary financial aid application form.  It asks for your family's financial and demographic information.  It is used to calculate your eligibility for all types of financial aid.  It is also used to confirm your eligibility criteria by using database matches with federal agencies such as Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Selective Service System.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is money used to pay for post-high school education.  Financial aid can come from the federal government, state government, and/or institutions.  Financial aid is money that helps students and their parents pay for college costs.

  Grant A grant is money awarded based on financial need.
  Scholarship A scholarship is money awarded based on merit (academic, sports, artistic talent, etc.)
  Loan A loan is money that must be paid back after you leave school.
  Financial Aid Office The college office that manages financial aid for students.

  Award Notification The Award Notification is a piece of paper or an electronic communication telling you how much aid your are eligible for.  It is listed by type and amount of aid.
  Independent Student The information on this page is intended for high school students between the ages of 17 and 24.  If you are 24 years or older, are married, have children or dependents for whom you provide more than half support, or if a financial aid administrator classifies you as "independent," then your financial aid need will be determined differently.  Check with the financial aid office at the institution you are interested in attending.
Links to more information about Student Financial Aid


The following link is a checklist of what to do when to get ready for college financial obligations:


Do you need money for college?  Read the brochure at the following link:


Are you considering a loan?  Read the following brochure for Direct Loan Borrowers:




  Going to College Checklist
  _____ Get and learn to run a desktop or laptop computer
             ____ Email: Gmail
             ____ Acrobat for .pdf files
             ____ Word Processor
                        ____ Google Docs for inexpensive word processing
                        ____ Word for .doc files for most compatibility with businesses, schools, and official correspondence
_____ Gather information about the colleges in which you  are interested in attending
_____ Complete your taxes as soon as possible in the year they are due
_____ Complete the FAFSA form
_____ Apply for admission
_____ Apply for financial aid
_____ Apply for scholarships
_____ Attend an orientation session to learn the procedures you will need to follow beforel enrolling in classes
_____ Once you are admitted, create an email account/password
_____ Establish a checking account at a bank near you home
_____ Have your Higher Ed account (where your college send refunds to you) forwarded to your checking account