The Best Tips For Getting Money For Your College Student

The Best Tips For Getting Money For Your College Student

by Irene Lynn

Mr. and Mrs. Lynn, your daughter, Kristen, has just graduated from University of Central Florida, Rosen College, – what are you going to do? Well, we don’t need to go to Disney world (because we live in Orlando) but we sure are doing the happy dance! It’s been a long and sometimes concerning road from the time of hearing college costs would be $100,000 back in 1985 to hearing reports of inflation creeping into the universities. However, we did it with two kids and on one income! And we did it realizing there were more resources out there than we were lead to believe for the college bound student. However, knowing your options is the secret and not listening to all the myths out there about the impossibilities that lie ahead for our students.

Preparing for College

– While in high school, check and double check with the child’s school counselor on all resources for scholarship money. The reason I say double check is because counselors do make mistakes. And this information is just too important to take the first word as the last word. Counselors should have the most recent information about the local and state universities and what the student’s requirements need to be. While visiting the counselor, periodically have the student verifying with them so they have all the necessary credits and qualifications for the desired college or university they wish to attend.

– The last 2 years in high school, keep taking that SAT/ACT as many times as you can to get the highest score possible. If you are having problems, seek help to improve your scores.

– Check into your local community colleges to reduce your college costs by taking some college preparatory courses. This helps to get some of the basic requirements out of the way. Also, consider on going to the community college for 2 years to continue to save on tuition. When you get your final degree, it won’t say the name of the community college on there. It will be the four year university the student will finish at that will show up on the diploma. We sent both of our children to the local community college which just so happens to be one of the best in the nation and it reduced our costs by 25% per credit.

– Check your state for scholarship money. In Florida we have the Bright Futures Scholarship. Over the years, the criterion has been getting more difficult when it comes to the G.P.A. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful program for us to use and saved us a bundle of money.

– If your student works, have them check with their local employer for scholarship money. My daughter has worked for Universal Studios since she was 16. We have been receiving scholarship money from Universal Studios since she started college. In fact, this year, they actually increased how much they would pay for tuition and books.

– OK, now you don’t necessarily have to be a brain to have a scholarship. Scholarships come in many forms. They can come based on your nationality, financial status, essays and more. Sign up to receive information on the variety of scholarships out there. Searching for scholarship money should start as soon as possible.

– Not only can the student receive a student loan but also parents can. There is a qualification using the credit report. However, it is not as strict as it would be for getting other types of loans. It’s best to talk to the finance department of the college you wish to attend and they can direct you to Nelnet which is the financial area for education planning.

– Check for your state’s 529 college plan. The 529 plan is a state-sponsored plan that is designed to encourage saving for future college costs. All 50 states have their own 529 Plan.

Despite all the doom and gloom you are hearing about tuition costs rising, no scholarship money out there or it’s hard to get student loans – it’s always best to verify your own resources first. When our kids were babies, we didn’t know how we were going to handle college on one income. We owed it all to our perseverance in finding out answers and our kids for getting good grades.

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