Paying for college

Does the thought of paying for college leave you in a panic?

We heard from a mom who said that the thought of paying for college had her exploring the idea of taking on a second job to earn more money for her child’s education.

She was right to start this conversation! So many people just ignore this until it’s too late. However, taking on a second job would be a last resort! We don’t want families to take on too many loans because they feel there’s no other option. We urge everyone feeling this way to do a few important actions, right now.

First, get informed. You will feel so much better knowing how families pay for college. And, you can calculate right now if you will qualify for need-based aid. This is so powerful to know!

How can you learn what you need to know? Tune in to our free 90-minute program taught by Dublin-based but nationally-known college money expert, Joe Messinger. Click to find the next Smart Money Moves for the College-Bound program. We built this because people need clear and helpful information. Period.

Second, have your student size up their situation. Why are they going to college? What do they hope to study? Estimate their GPA and ACT/SAT test scores. These three factors (major, GPA, and ACT/SAT) can drive college research. If they are a “high merit” student (in the top 25% of students academically at a college of interest), they may be in line for merit scholarship money. If they won’t qualify for merit, then you can focus on need-based aid. Our College Research webinar can teach you how to find colleges that can fit your situation. Our ACT/SAT program will cover all you need to know about testing.

Third, consider other options to save on college. One option may be AP or IB coursework. Another is taking college classes via College Credit Plus in Ohio (or other dual enrollment programs in other states). Using CCP, Ohio students can earn real, transcripted college credit to transfer to another university after high school. Best part? You pay $0 in Ohio. (Your taxes cover the program.) If you want to learn more about College Credit Plus or High School Scheduling (includes AP & IB), visit our educational program page.

Also consider a start at a two-year school like Columbus State and use their “Preferred Pathways” program. It’s a brilliant solution for many students.

Fourth, before spending a lot of time and effort working a second job, be sure to really understand how much you might impact the cost of four years of college. At Smart Money Moves for the College-Bound, our friend Joe Messinger will help you understand all of the funding sources you already have to pay for college.

Thinking of paying for college can cause so much stress! Some information gathering will help your family make a solid plan.

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