Edmit logo

Are You Ready for College Signing Day?

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

College Signing Day is May 2. Where are you headed this fall?

 

Here at Edmit, we’re big fans of College Signing Day. A joint partnership between Better Make Room and Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiatives, Signing Day is an annual celebration of high school seniors who have chosen to “pursue higher education at a professional training program, a community college, a four-year college or university, or the military.” Held this year on May 2, College Signing Day honors the commitment among students and families to continuing education and investing in the future.

 

Of course, choosing a college and signing up to enroll are just the first steps of your college journey. Let’s go one step further: Are you choosing the school that will be the best fit for you?

 

According to an American Educational Research Association survey, students who attend a less-selective college than they’re eligible to attend (e.g., an “undermatch” school) are less likely to graduate within four years than students who choose a school that’s a better match for their qualifications. Within the demographics of surveyed students, undermatching was most prevalent for black students at 49 percent, followed by white students (45 percent), Hispanic students (41 percent), and Asian students (31 percent).

 

So in the interest of staying in school and graduating on time, consider how well matched your potential college is with your academic goals before you sign up to enroll. Are you pleased with the college department that sponsors the program you plan to major in? Does the school have robust academic advising and career services programs? Consider the outcomes you want, and how your potential college will (or maybe won’t) help you get there.

 

Attending an undermatched school may not just thwart on-time graduation rates—it may also limit financial aid packages, too. In a recent blog post, Will Attending a More Selective School Guarantee Future Success?, researcher Hannah Kwak found that low-income students in particular “seem to benefit significantly from attending a selective school. Given that highly selective colleges tend to offer generous need-based financial aid packages, they may actually be more affordable for low-income students than less-selective colleges.”

 

Kwak compared the following highly selective colleges to show the average costs based on income:  

  

School

Estimated 2015-16 Cost of Attendance

Average Cost if Family Income is:

$0-$30,000

$30,001-$48,000

$48,001-$75,000

Brown University

$65,380

$5,234

$7,119

$11,259

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

$63,250

$5,554

$6,391

$8,405

Stanford University

$64,477

$3,516

$2,023

$6,240

University of California, Berkeley

$32,646

$8,506

$9,384

$13,944

Yale University

$66,893

$6,939

$8,014

$7,596

Sources: College Scorecard, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

 

So beyond academic fit, be sure to also consider financial fit. Does that well-matched (and possibly highly selective college) want students like you, and are they willing to give you free money to enroll you?

 

It’s a good idea, then, to revisit all your costs and financial aid letters before you sign. Are you making the best investment? (Edmit can help you find out!)

 

Pursuing a higher education degree is no small commitment, but it’s a valuable goal that will nurture and shape your future. You’ve put in the hard work, and are committed to your goals— so be sure to select a college that will be a committed partner to you along the way. We’re so thrilled to celebrate along with you on this College Signing Day!

 

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* paying for college financial aid Cost of College* grants and scholarships FAFSA Student Loans* Saving for College* federal student loans college tuition cost of attendance 529 plan college financial planning financial aid award expected family contribution private student loans taxes room and board college savings plan on-campus housing college applications application fees merit-based financial aid private universities public universities student loan assistance college expenses federal financial aid merit scholarships Salary and Career* budgeting for college edmit hidden gems tuition discount financial need parent PLUS loan southern colleges CSS profile college costs edmit team education expenses living expenses western colleges financial aid appeal income midwestern colleges off-campus housing affordable college college majors loan forgiveness northeast colleges application fee waivers degree programs edmit scholarship institutional aid loan repayment new england colleges choosing a major net price prepaid tuition plans work-study SAT career choosing a college in-state tuition international students need-based financial aid need-blind colleges private scholarships qualified higher education expenses repayment plans tuition guarantee 401k ACT UGMA UTMA budget college ranking systems discretionary income education savings accounts fees free tuition full ride scholarship grants great lakes region colleges health insurance options investment ivy league schools meal plans mid-east region colleges need-aware colleges plains region colleges rocky mountain schools southeastern colleges southwestern colleges student loan debt tuition payment plans 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA applying to college asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college deposit college search college spending concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding educational expenses esports fee waivers financial literacy fraternities and sororities full tuition gap year home equity loan income share agreements internships liberal arts degree line of credit medical expenses military benefits out-of-state students out-of-state tuition percent need met private college consultant retirement savings saving school-based scholarships small business standardized testing state aid state schools student bank accounts student organizations title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition increases tuition reciprocity undocumented students