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Student story: Prioritizing financial aid, major, and location in the college search

A student shares their college search priorities: 1) financial aid, as they needed full coverage; 2) a bioengineering program, combining their interests in biology and engineering; 3) warm weather, since they dislike cold climates; and 4) a beautiful campus, which was important for their overall experience.

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  • mr pink green style avatar for user 2045687
    How do you prioritize the financial aid?
    (2 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      First: make a spread sheet with different columns for each college you think you might like to attend.

      Second: Label the rows below according to the criteria of major, location, and net cost after financial aid is awarded.

      In the "location", compare "here" "near" "far" and "very far".
      In Major, only list for whether the school offers what you're looking for or not.
      After you've learned the price, assume that you'll receive identical federal and state aid, so the difference will come in the "cost of studying here" and "aid granted by the school".

      Prioritizing for financial aid means choosing the school where the financial aid offers you the best deal.

      Be sure, though, that if you choose any school other than the "here" one, you'll have to add transportation costs for several trips home annually. Hawaii may be attractive, but the airfare could make you broke.
      (2 votes)

Video transcript

- A very important factor to me when I was applying to colleges was the financial aid that I would be receiving. So some of the private schools I was applying to offered full coverage, and I knew I definitely needed that one, so that was the most important one for me. Another thing would be an engineering program. I knew I was interested in engineering ever since the freshman year of high school, and so if I could combine it with biology, which is my other favorite thing, that would have been awesome. So I was ultimately looking for a bioengineering program. Another thing, super important, weather. I absolutely despise cold weather, so it had to be warm where I ended up. The last thing would be a really nice campus. I was looking for a beautiful campus.