College Finance Project

Mrs. Jane Morgan’s juniors are engaged in a College Finance Project. For the project, the students research a university in which they are interested and try to determine the true cost of four years of a college education. Student must calculate often-forgotten expenses such as fees, travel expenses, study abroad, dorm room supplies, and more. After calculating the comprehensive cost for four years of schooling, the students research scholarships and loan information and then come up with a plan for covering the costs. When researching loans, the students calculate the costs to repay their expected loans as well as the length of time it will take them to repay the loans. They also research savings accounts so that they can answer the hindsight question, “How much should their parents have saved to pay for the entire cost of college and the cost after scholarships?”

Mr. Jerome Franklin, Harding board member and parent, as well as a manager at Wells Fargo Advisors, met with the class on Wednesday, March 22, to help the students with the hindsight question and to share his knowledge about educational savings accounts. Mrs. Morgan wanted the students to know that there was a better way to save money than a plain bank savings account. Mr. Franklin spoke to the class about a variety of savings options and the return investment—529 accounts, college savings accounts, CDs, and more. The students will use his presentation to calculate what should have been saved to pay for college. Following his presentation, the students were assigned the task of calculating what should have been saved per month since their birth and then also since age ten to pay for their calculated cost of college. They also calculated how much would need to be saved per month right now to pay for their first year of college.