What can I say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already? It has certainly been an unprecedented time of rapid change and, frankly, upheaval. For how long and to what extent we will be forced to adapt, we just don’t know yet. So as I sat down to write this year’s letter to our readers, I knew I had to address two critical issues for the parents and students making college plans for 2021:
1. We are still at the beginning of a major shift in how higher education pivots to serve students during a pandemic, and that may continue for several years to come.
2. That doesn’t mean that we give up on planning for college and our educational goals altogether.
I don’t know what your/your student’s freshman year in college will look like; it is my fervent hope we are able to make enough advances in the fight against COVID-19 that, in a year’s time, we are able to have a relative return to normalcy for your student’s college experience. However, we must also prepare for a world in which we are still taking every necessary precaution to keep everyone healthy and well, while still finding a way to progress forward. To that end, this year’s edition of Great Advice for Parents begins with what we currently know about how the pandemic may affect your college plans. Though it focuses on the current academic year, we hope this piece is helpful in allowing you to consider your options over the next year, should we be in a similar place with similar choices. The remainder of the guide remains focused on the discussions you and your students should be having about pursuing a degree, the questions you may have about financial aid, and how you can best prepare for managing the costs of college before, during, and after the experience. Since 2020 has also been the year of the Hamilton musical, I am reminded of a line from one of its many great songs: “I am the one thing in life I can control.” What fitting words for all of us right now, but especially for our students who are learning this valuable lesson during this unpredictable time. Whatever the year ahead brings, I wish you and your student health and wellness, and hope you are undeterred in the dreams you have for the future.
Carissa Uhlman Vice President of Student Success Inceptia
888.529.2028 • Inceptia.org •
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