College Counseling News
Students taking college courses who were unable to attend the fall trip were able to visit several local colleges this week. On Tuesday we visited Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. It is a small and welcoming private school with an enrollment of just under 1,300 students. Our group appreciated the coziness of the campus, small class sizes, and significant financial assistance available to applicants. Like most private schools, the price tag at Catawba is high: approximately $44,000 per year, but they are committed to providing significant financial assistance and typically give about $6 million in aid to students each year. All students receive some amount of merit-based scholarships.
Our group toured Elon University in Elon, NC on Wednesday. Also a private school, Elon was much larger than Catawba with an enrollment of 6,000 students. The application process is very competitive and only about 20% of its students are from North Carolina. Our students remarked on the beauty of the campus and state-of-the-art facilities. There were so many opportunities available at Elon, however, the admissions office was very upfront about the cost: $47,000 per year with limited financial assistance.
We visited UNCG on Thursday. Students were surprised that the campus was so pretty and large; many had only driven by and not seen the center of campus with its older buildings and green spaces. Our group learned there are 20,000 students total attending UNCG and it is one of the best buys in the state based on tuition and fees, with a cost of about $19,000 per year. This price is comparable to, and even a bit lower than, other state colleges in NC. Students remarked that the campus felt “good” to them - there was a great amount of diversity, smiling faces, and lots of activity.
We wrapped up our week of tours with a visit to Wake Forest University on Friday. It has a student enrollment of 5,000 and was the most expensive private school on our tour, with a price of $52,000 per year. As stated on the college website, “At Wake Forest, we are committed to meeting 100% of an undergraduate student’s demonstrated financial need with a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study, and subsidized loans.” Financial aid applications are due October 1 and can be completed at the same time as admissions applications.
Students enjoyed the visits and we all learned much more about each of these schools. I encourage you to talk to your students about how each school felt to them and what the pros and cons of each were.