View Full Version : College budget?
05-25-2010, 10:55 AM
Just wondering if anyone has tips or tricks for getting the most financial aid or scholarships for college. Every little bit helps right? Wish there was a "Couponing to College" thread:) My son is just finishing up his Junior year of HS, so of course I'm thinking ahead.
05-25-2010, 11:48 AM
Actually you aren't thinking that far ahead...the FAFSA will need to be filed asap in 2011 and it is based on this year's income, etc.
Here is an article from the WSJ that was on my yahoo home page today, take it for what it's worth:
I think an important thing to do is to run an online EFC calculator. You plug in your income, etc. and it tells you what your EFC (expected family contribution) will be. That is the number colleges look at in determining your "need" in awarding need based aid. They compare your EFC to their cost of attendance to determine how much aid you need to attend the school. Some schools only give need-based aid, others give both merit-based and need-based. The schools all have tons of specific information on the financial aid portion of their websites.
Also be aware that loans and work study are considered forms of financial aid. It is not all grants or "free money".
I think the most important thing is to have frank discussions with your child early and often about what you can contribute, the impact of student loans, looking at various options for schools, etc. Also it's very important to have a financial safety: a school that your child can get into, would be satisfied going to, and is financially feasible for your family.
Good luck with the process! It is a very exciting time.
05-25-2010, 12:50 PM
One thing I suggest to everyone is to go talk to people to look for jobs/scholarships on campus! My story is:
About a month after I started college a lady ran a red light and totaled my car. Due to my availability being, basically none, because my mom had to take me to school and pick me up afterward when DBF couldn't, I had to leave my PT job at the mall. DBF suggested I talk to the facility manager of the music building (I wasn't even a music student) to see if I could get a job working in the music computer lab. When I went, the guy suggested I work in the box office instead - answering phones, doing paperwork, etc. and I could get a flat amount of scholarship money. For the opera, I didn't oversell the house, and the director of the school offered me a FULL scholarship. Who knew counting tickets would get me a full ride?! So, now there's a new director, new concert manager, and new facility manager and at the end of every spring semester I meet with them and ask what they'll need the following semester so I can keep my scholarship. Right now, my duties are to sell tickets at every ticketed event (about 10 the whole semester) and deposit the money the following day, work in the main office as a student worker (answer phones & get mail) about 10 hours a week, and handle check in and check out of things rented (lockers, instruments, keys) the week before school begins and the week after school ends.
Didn't mean to go on for so long! But, the moral of the story is that there are scholarships EVERYWHERE! It never hurts to ask the main offices of different departments (I'm a Business Administration major working in the music department) if they have any student worker jobs that will pay through scholarship (pay x amount up front and expect the student to work x amount of hours during the semester). Also check the box offices in the Music and Theatre departments. And ask about working the concerts and plays. Every little bit helps and they're usually pretty flexible because they understand they're students.
Anyway, I know I went on and on, but I hope it helps. The worst they can do is say no, and the best that can happen is the situation I got... a full ride! Good luck!! :goodvibes:goodvibes
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