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Questions for Discussion

The questions here are for you to think about and discuss with your family prior to the FEP coaching session.  Addressing these questions ahead of time will result in a more productive session and a more accurate Financial Empowerment Plan.  It’s okay if you can’t answer some of them.  They’re for your personal and family consideration, and no one from Grand View will ask you to turn in your responses.  However, you may want to share your responses as part of the FEP coaching session, and the FEP Coach will likely ask questions similar to these.

Our goal is to help you finance your full educational experience at Grand View while being responsible with the amount of loans you take out during college.

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

At Grand View, we value the personal growth and socialization that takes place when students live on campus.  We also subscribe to the idea of a “journey toward independence,” in which students begin in a more traditional residence hall with a more comprehensive meal plan.  In later years, students move to suites and apartments and are allowed to opt out of meal plans or purchase minimal meal plans.  Those different options have different costs; therefore we encourage you to consider:

  • What are your planned living arrangements while attending college?  Will you live on campus or off campus?  In what style of housing will you want to live?  Would you consider other options if there was a financial savings?
  • What are your plans for meals?  Which meal plan will be a good fit for you?  If you live in an apartment in later years, will you want to be responsible for your own grocery shopping and cooking or would you still want to have a meal plan?

WORKING WHILE IN SCHOOL

Research shows that for many students, some part-time work (10-15 hours/week) helps them manage time better, and therefore may even improve academic performance.  Working 20 hours or more, however, can have a negative impact on academic performance.  Grand View employs many students in on-campus jobs; the Career Center also can assist students in finding off-campus part-time work.  In the end, the decision to work while in school is a choice you should make after carefully considering course loads, participation in co-curricular activities, financial need, and other factors.  So think about …

  • Do you plan to work while attending college?  Part time or full time?  How many hours per week, and what can you reasonably expect to earn on a monthly basis?  How much of the earnings can you put toward financing your education and how much will be needed to fund your personal expenses (meals, gas, entertainment, necessities, etc.)?
  • Do you plan to work during the summer while attending college?  Part time or full time?  What summers will you be able to work versus other activities such as an unpaid internship, athletics activities, travel, etc.?  How much of your summer earnings can you put toward financing your education versus how much will be needed to fund your personal expenses?

LOANS

Student loans have been a significant part of college financing since the late 1950s, and millions of students have successfully paid back their student loans for six decades.  The real concern is when students borrow too much and/or take out student loans for the wrong reasons.  Grand View’s Financial Empowerment Plan will help you set a responsible student loan budget based on your career plans and expected earnings. In many cases, parents are willing to borrow money instead of, or in addition to, the student incurring debt.

  • What major or career are you interested in pursuing?  What is the expected starting salary for an entry level position with a required college degree in that field of study or career?  A resource toreview in responding to this question is Iowa Student Loan’s ROCI (Return on College Investment) at this link: http://www.studentloan.org/Education-Tools/Find-Your-ROCI.aspx.
  • Will you be responsible for all loans or will your parents be willing to take out loans (PLUS Loan)?
  • For most loans, interest accrues while the student is in college.  If that is the case for you, would you be willing to make interest payments while in school to reduce the amount you will owe after you graduate?

PERSONAL AND FAMILY BUDGETING

Most students at Grand View borrow a responsible amount of money.  Unfortunately, some students borrow the full “cost of attendance” to pay for personal spending even if they have earnings or savings to help cover those costs and/or to help pay for their tuition and fees.  We strongly encourage students to set an appropriate budget for personal expenses beyond Grand View’s charges and to consider using savings and earnings before incurring student loans.

  • Have you prepared a budget to help you anticipate the expenses expected to be incurred while in college outside of the direct charges from Grand View University?  A student budgeting worksheet is included with this list of questions.  A link to the student budgeting worksheet, in Microsoft Excel format, is on the FEP page of
  • Grand View’s admissions website, www.admissions.grandview.edu.  (Search FEP.)
  • Will you bring a vehicle to campus?  Who is responsible for costs related to the vehicle (car payment, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc.)?
  • What “lifestyle choices” are you willing to make while in college to allow you to minimize your dependence on student loans?

RESOURCES

The federal government’s formulas for eligibility for student aid calculate an “estimated family contribution.”  In the Financial Empowerment Plan, Grand View would like to help you consider in greater detail what resources you may be able to apply to your educational expenses and to develop a more specific plan for how and when to use savings and earnings.

  • What resources do you have to assist in financing your education?  Savings?  Education Savings Accounts or 529 Plans?  Parent, grandparent, other family savings or expected monthly or yearly contribution?  Scholarships from outside of Grand View, such as local organizations in your community?
  • Based on your current financial situation or the situation of your family, what amount can you afford to contribute to financing your education while in school, on either a yearly or a monthly basis?  What amount of monthly payment can you or your family afford while you’re attending college?

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

There are a variety of factors and choices students can make that will affect total college costs and the amount of aid you may be able to receive.  The Financial Empowerment Plan process will attempt to help you anticipate and plan for the financial impact of those factors and choices.

  • Are there any changes expected in the future that will impact your financial aid award package (i.e. number of students in college, planned retirement, planned job changes affecting earnings, marital status, etc.)?
  • Do you have an interest in studying abroad or participating in travel-abroad courses during college?
  • Are there other things you think might affect your needs and/or your ability to pay for your educational expenses?

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