For many high school seniors planning to go to college, the moment of truth is here: the last acceptance letters are rolling in. Teens are sitting with their parents, comparing financial aid offers, and having "the talk" - the sobering conversation about what family budgets will allow. The latest estimates for the average cost of college from the National Center for Education Statistics are more than $11 thousand for public schools and $28 thousand at private institutions.
Listen below to two families from Portland, Maine talking through the college math...
Anna Flanagan talking with her parents Carrie Stephens and Jim Flanagan
"I really hate the idea of applying for scholarships. We've been applying for schools all year and once we finish college applications, we think it's finally over. But it's not because then we have to think about financing." ~Anna Flanagan
Ally Stack talking to her mom Gail Schwarzer
"It's kind of strange that they don't teach this to us in school. We have this one course, it's called "real life" and I really haven't learned much about real life. We didn't learn about the FAFSA. We just took this survey to find out what colleges we might want to go to. We didn't talk anything about how much it would cost." ~Ally Stack
Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) is youth-driven converged media production company that delivers the best youth news, culture and undiscovered talent to a cross section of audiences. To read more youth news from around the globe and explore high quality audio and video features, visit Youthradio.org. This story was produced in collaboration with Blunt Radio.