Economy stalls grad college plans

The economic recession is causing many high school graduates to rethink their post-graduation plans.

Nearly 70 percent of high schools said more graduates are having to forgo their “dream” school for a more affordable option, according to a survey released this month by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, made up of high school and college admissions and financial aid professionals.

“Schools are becoming more and more expensive at the same time that the economy is taking a downturn,” said Joe Galagan, a Mount Si High School guidance counselor.

Fewer students seem to be going to private and out-of-state schools this year compared to previous years, he said.

Sixty percent of the 658 high schools surveyed said they have seen more students choose public over private universities.

“Not that going to a public school is a bad thing,” Galagan said.

A student’s college experience largely depends on what the student brings to it, he said.

Graduates might miss out on a unique opportunity by having to forgo an out-of-state school, but their academic career probably won’t suffer overall, he said.

Only 15 percent of high schools surveyed said more students are planning to delay college. Thirty-seven percent of high schools reported an increase in students planning to attend two-year colleges.

Mount Si has not seen any significant change in either of these categories, according to Galagan.

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