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Preparing for College by Learning about Loans, Costs, Expenses

Academy History Students Compile Loan Portfolios

U.S. History Teacher Lindsay Schultz at the STEM High School recently had her seniors complete a student loan assignment. Participants chose a college and had to research all costs to determine how much money they would pay for school. They studied the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans, read all fine print associated with potential loans, calculated living expenses, and explored scholarships. The STEM High School is part of the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology, the Career and Technical Education Program of Eastern Suffolk BOCES.


group shot of students with teacher holding loan portfolio


Schultz still pays student loans for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and admits that she would have made different choices concerning how she financed her education had she been more involved in the process in high school. To help her students make informed decisions, she had them answer detailed questions concerning tuition, loans, room and board, cost per credit, books, meals, and transportation, to name just a few items. Schultz and her students also reviewed all the particulars on a few loans and scholarships. For instance, they learned that the New York State Excelsior Scholarship converts to a loan under certain circumstances, such as leaving the New York State school you are attending or not working in New York for five years after graduation. Said Schultz, “What if a student wants to transfer? It’s quite possible and they need to know what to expect.” Her students are grateful for the eye-opening lesson. Said Hunter Fleming, Shoreham-Wading River CSD, “I realized college was going to be expensive but I didn’t realize how expensive until we did this assignment. Also, it’s so important for students to understand the differences associated with certain loans and to truly read all fine print.”