Workshop helps with college transition

The program encourages low-income high school students to not let money get in the way of higher education.

Upward Bound and CBA Workshop

Ashley Goetz

Upward Bound and CBA Workshop

Minneapolis South High School 10th-grader Tyanna Dickerson âÄôs dream is to attend the University of Minnesota, but her mother, Jyanna , a single mother of two, said she isnâÄôt sure if sheâÄôll be able to afford her daughterâÄôs college experience. âÄúWeâÄôre trying to save, but itâÄôs very hard,âÄù Jyanna Dickerson said. âÄúNo matter how much you save, the cost is still going up. And to put her in the school she wants is hard.âÄù In an effort to show high-potential, low-income high school students that they can still afford higher education, Upward Bound , a program for educationally disadvantaged high school students, hosted a workshop on Saturday for area high school students and their families to help equip them with the tools to successfully transition into college. The event, which hosted about 150 students in grades nine, 10 and 12, was a collaboration with the Public Relations Student Society of America and their sponsor, the Consumer Bankers Association. Upward Bound Director Aloida Zaragoza said because more and more families are moving into poverty, merit-based and federal-based financial need has become more competitive. âÄúOften times [students] donâÄôt know how to manage their money, so they are forced to drop out,âÄù she said to the crowd. âÄúSome of you in this room might be that way. We donâÄôt want that to happen.âÄù According to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, since the early 1990s, MinnesotaâÄôs investment in financial aid has substantially increased. However, University students remain among the most debt-ridden in the Big Ten. The average University of Minnesota graduate leaves school with nearly $25,000 in debt. According to the data, the average aid received by incoming freshmen at public four-year colleges was $3,320, compared to the $5,300 average tuition. Retired TCF Bank Senior Vice President Dan Reyelts spoke at the event and said his goal of the workshop was to get students and parents talking about money. âÄúI try to take the drama out of money,âÄù Reyelts said. âÄúItâÄôs a big deal for families; if they canâÄôt make ends meet in general, how do they afford college?âÄù A college graduate with a four-year degree will earn $1 million more in their lifetime than someone with a high school diploma, Reyelts said in his speech. âÄúThese are just averages and it varies on the major a student pursues,âÄù he said. âÄúThere is a heightened earning potential with a four-year degree.âÄù According to finaidfacts.org , a financial aid website, nearly $107 billion in financial aid was distributed nationally to undergraduate students last year. The majority came from loans or institutional grants. Reyelts said many people use money as an excuse not to go to college, but he encouraged students and parents to look into financial aid programs, scholarships, grants and use loans as a last resort. âÄúMoney is not going to be the reason you canâÄôt go to college,âÄù Reyelts said.