More than 500 juniors and seniors at South High Community School in Worcester packed the school’s auditorium on April 15, 2016 for a fun and informative game show called “College: Can I afford it?”
Sponsored by MassEdCO's Educational Talent Search program at SHCS, the event increased awareness of financial considerations for paying for college. The questions posed to two teams of student “contestants” had to do with grants, scholarships, loans, interest rates, tuition, fees, cost of attendance, subsidized vs. unsubsidized loans, reading award letters, work study, good debt vs. bad debt, determining if you can afford a particular college, calculating monthly loan payments after graduation, and determining how much debt is too much debt for college.
Before the game began, representative members of the student teams shared their financial aid award letters with the audience, pointing out the pros and cons of each award. Financial aid professionals, who served on the panel of judges for the game, provided expertise. These included Donna Connolly, MassEdCO's director of youth access and career planning, Jonathan Hughes from MEFA, Omar Reyes from RI College, and Joe Ha, an SHCS/ETS alum and Unum employee.
The game was emceed by Shaun Connolly, an education advisor with the GEAR UP program at Worcester’s North High School and a stand-up comedian. Shaun kept the game lively and fun. The judges ranked the answers and awarded prizes in the form of chocolate, accordingly!
The event was masterfully organized by ETS Education Advisor Elizabethe Plante.