Paying for College

College Visits and the Price of Gas

As of this writing, four-dollar-per-gallon gas now looms as an ominous reality. This has to be a factor for many families planning post-acceptance college visits this early spring with their seniors and for rising-senior families this summer. With the current tensions in the Middle East, it's possible that gas prices could rise even further. Residents in the United Kingdom are now paying $9.00 per gallon (!). No wonder bicycles are so popular in England.

This is a difficult situation for those families who may have suffered the loss of a prime bread winner's job. The question is: Are these visits worth the price of not only gasoline but also the other related expenses such as food and lodging? I've always been a strong advocate of college visits, both for the chance to get a "gut" feel for the surroundings and also for chance to speak with students, who are the prime source of The Truth about a particular institution of higher learning. Shiny brochures and fancy Web sites have a tendency to distract prospective applicants and enrollees from some of the realities of life on a certain campus. That's where the college visit comes in.

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