Increasing college and university costs make decision-making more and more pertinent for younger students.
Tuition outpaces the rate of inflation and has for more than 30 years. With most colleges and universities releasing data that indicates increases at 5 percent to 6 percent in tuition and fees, most students need to stick with a four-year plan of attack. Students unsure of majors can cost themselves or their parents for a fifth year of college. In today’s money, for tuition alone, a fifth year of college at a private institution will cost $35,636 (including room and board) and at a public institution, $15,213 (including room and board at an in-state rates).
While there seems to be no end in sight for increasing college costs, being better prepared when entering those college or university doors may mean big savings. According to MyMajors.com founder Dr. Fritz Grupe, failing to get started on time with a highly structured major such as engineering or computer science, may make an extra year of studies necessary, costing not only an extra year of tuition, but also books, lodging and meals, lost wages and a delay in beginning “real” life.
Grupe says about 80 percent of incoming first-year students lack focus and that indecision can be expensive. To help undecided students, especially those finishing the last couple of years in high school, Grupe created an interactive Web site that unites school experience and personal values to recommend majors. The majors are for consideration and direction, plus the site features other information about coursework and the jobs they could lead to and other resources to find success in those specific majors.
Grupe says most students can be helped, including those who fall into categories like “naïve,” “indecisives,” and “the clueless.” These are students that think they know what career they would like, but careers and majors are not the same things. Perhaps they cannot see how to make the transition from the career they want to a major that will get them there. Maybe they simply do not know what majors are available. Or they are students who waffle on all decisions and are overwhelmed under the weight of so much data. Still others lack direction.
The Web site www.MyMajors.com may just be that resource designed to aid students and to recommend majors that appear to be good ones based on the student’s high school experience and personal values. In providing direction, Grupe’s creation may provide tangible savings for the student and parents.