There are many things that the university financial aid offices think you should do like ::
- Sell your house
- Sell off your property
- Sell a kidney
- Quit eating
- Cancel your insurance
You know, they look at your income and think you have money and assets and therefore you should be able to pay for college too. Yeah because we have an extra $30, 000 laying around.
Really though, we have to come up with the money because we have not saved for it. My daughter is a senior this year, and the reason why we are working on it now is because she will apply for lots of scholarships. Most scholarships will only award to seniors. She has done a few, but mostly she has worked on a list of the ones she is going to be able to apply for this year.
The truth is, it starts way before the scholarships ::
- The first thing we found with each college is it’s all about the GPA and the ACT or SAT score. Did you know that if you score high on both you can be awarded an instant $5,000-$9,000, depending on the college of course.
- Once the kids hit high school it’s go time. They need to understand right at that point that they need to have at least a 3.60 GPA. Most scholarships look for that number. Yes some are higher and some are even lower, but this is just a great number to shoot for, especially if you have an average student. My daughter managed to get hers just a little higher.
- The pre ACT and SAT testing starts early on. We are having our sophomore son take the PSAT just so he gets the idea of what the test will look like and feel like.
Now, here’s a bit of information about these tests. Did you know that these tests are not done to test your academic knowledge necessarily? Psychologists designed the tests to see if you can handle college.
Many kids now days will have a tutor work with them so they can get a higher score on these tests. The tutors are not teaching them math, science or writing. Instead they are teaching them how the tests are done and how to score higher based on the way they are written.
If my daughter can get her ACT score up by 5 points she will qualify for a lot more money. So hiring a tutor would definitely be worth it, Money4This. Although, my in laws have chosen to get the book, buy some tests and tutor her, and let me tell you, it’s working.
Here’s another fact for you. SAT were common on the west coast and ACT were common on the east coast. So there are still many kids here that won’t even take the ACT because they think the SAT’s are the only thing accepted. Truth is many colleges, check with yours first, because not all, but many, will accept both tests.
The tests are very different, according to my daughter. She chose to do the ACT because she thought it was much easier. She has been working on that test ever since. As a senior she will take the test one final time in October. Most of the testing is done in the junior year. She tested late and there are no summer tests done, so we had to wait for the fall. Juniors should start testing in the spring.
Keep checking back for tips on paying for your child’s college education. I will give you a list of places to start looking for scholarships and some books that have helped us in writing a great scholarship.
First off you need to decide if you are going to pay for their education or if you are going to ask them to help.
Linked to Frugal Friday