Financing a college education can be a daunting task. Now add the complexity of having students with a disability. We came across this topic from a friend who posted on Facebook that her child was going to community college and that the State Department of Developmental Disabilities was not very helpful in helping her find scholarships. This episode is our conversation about funding and discussion on resources for any student with a disability who is interested in pursuing a college education.
This is a topic not talked about much often. Click on the link which will take you directly to our source THINK COLLEGE! and Affordable Colleges Online. They are probably the most comprehensive information we have found thus far. If you come across anything else, please share in our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY which is where we post many other scholarships.
This is by no means an all inclusive list, just a start of the conversation. There are programs available that are financed by the federal or state government that can provide assistance. It takes perseverance, patience and persistence to get it done. I am sure you know that by now if your child has any king of disability.
If you and your family have been dealing with this for the past 17+ years, you guys are probably the experts and need to tell us a thing or two of what to do and where to go for additional resources!
What does your college savings look like? Have you been diligent with funding that 529plan? Probably not. Chances are you are like most parents of teenagers who had great intention on funding that 529plan and saving money for college – but life got in the way. Your college savings took a backseat to that vacation, or quite possible that medical bill or even that temporary job loss that derailed your plans.
Today, we talk with Horace Jennings, a financial coach who lays out a plan to help you get back on track:
SAVE EARLY – SAVE INDEFINITELY!
Keep in mind, you have competing priorities: everyday expenses, vacations, retirements etc… It is difficult to keep is all going at the same time. Which one will you have to sacrifice?
The consequence of not saving enough is to resort to relying on student loans to pay for your child(ren) education. There are reports that as much as 66% of college students graduate with student loans, with the average debt up to $33,000 each. OUCH!
Raise your hand if you would vote yes for college affordability in this election? I raised my hand, did you? This episode is a summary (based on a couple of blog posts from www.savingforcollege.com) of the current proposals about education and college affordability from our Presidential Candidates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
If it were possible to set aside your current party affiliation or political views, what would your life be like if you did not have to pay back student loan debt? Or could you benefit from extra money that the college will award because they are passing on their tax breaks directly to students? These are all options on the table right now.
Which will you choose? Leave us a comment on your position on the topic and how it affects you?
The I CAN Foundation (and the success principles 4 life) is the second foundation that we spotlight here on The College Money Maze. We want our audience to get up close and personal with the organizations that award college scholarships and hear the story behind the message.
Michael Jones is Founder and President of The I CAN Foundation as well as an entrepreneur. He talks at length about his principles for success and what services the foundation provides for the youth of North Plainfield, NJ and the surrounding communities.
The I CAN Foundation empowers our youth and community with the “I Can” attitude by providing free services geared toward middle and high school students, completed by family-oriented programs for the community. TCIF’s services and programs include tutoring, mentoring, NJ PARCC & SAT Boot Camps, Hoops 4 a Cause event and an Annual Black History Extravaganza
The Foundation also awards a $2000 scholarship to a high school senior. The qualifications are as follows:
Graduating New Jersey High School Senior (NJ Resident only)
Scholarship success can be different for everyone, especially with athletic recruiting thrown in the mix.
YOUR path to finding money to pay for college can also involve full or partial athletic scholarships.
In today’s episode, we talk with Mr. Terrence Powell who tells the story of his journey with his son and the athletic recruiting process. How you navigate college athletics along with also exploring merit scholarships is fascinating to listen to. Make sure you listen all the way to the end.
“If you are not a top tier athlete, colleges are not looking for you. Get on their radar!”
He gives his best tips looking back on his journey to help other parents:
START EARLY (like when they are HS Freshman!)
Consider additional personal training outside the high school environment.
Have your child complete a Student Athlete Prospect Profile at each school they are interested in.
Do your research on Merit Aid/Scholarships that each school offers. This will help if a particular coach does not want to give a full scholarship. You can use this as leverage.
Visit more schools ahead of time to see what type of environment appeals to your child.
Explore other scholarships outside the school to fill the gap.
Imagine having enough money in scholarships to cover your college and graduate school education, twice. That is exactly what happened to Pam Andrews (The Scholarship Shark) and her oldest son. With the tenacity, relentless pursuit and focus of a shark, keen
The Scholarship Shark
organizational skills and her son’s commitment to the process, they were able to secure over $700k in scholarships. He is now attending his dream school in Florida, pursuing his animation/art college education.
This episode is an in depth conversation with Pam about their journey which started with the decision she and her husband made to homeschool all four of their children and encourage the benefits of education.
Pam talks about the challenges she faced all along the way and did not begin the scholarship process until her son’s senior year. It was at that time that they teamed up and put together a plan to not only search for colleges, but pursue scholarships as a way to pay for them.
Her motto is: “Don’t just get in, get it financed!”
“Schools don’t want well-rounded kids, they want a diverse student body. Be the best YOU!”
Here are her tips for parents of High School Juniors:
3-layer approach: Look for schools that offer Merit Aid/Merit Awards, then those that meet 100% of “UN-MET NEED” and then every eligible private scholarships.
Get Organized! Go to local library and use the books there that list scholarships/reference
Identify what your child wants to do (career exploration)
Begin developing relationships with colleges that you want to or have visited
Attend pre-college programs. Great way to experience the campus and courses
Start searching for scholarships NOW!
Be intentional with your child’s last two years – find volunteer opportunities related to their career
Watch those deadlines! Aim for two weeks before REAL deadline to get all of the info needed.
We want everyone who resides in the State of Delaware to know that Gov. Jack Markell cares deeply about students going to college offsetting the high cost of a the education. The State Department of Higher Education has partnered with several local high schools to present workshops for parents and students:
FAFSA Submission Workshop for Seniors – Thursday Oct. 13th 5-7pm @ Indian River High School
College Scholarship Workshop & Fair – Wednesday Oct 26th 6-8pm @ Indian River High School
Also note that several Community Colleges in the State of Delaware are waiving the cost of college applications from October 17th through November 18th for Delaware residents. This is a great cost savings. Visit the website for more information: delawaregoestocollege.org
This episode is about what you can do when your financial aid runs out. I came across an article from USATODAY that gives some guidance on this issue. There are many parents and students that we have talked to since starting this business and podcast that are in this troubling position in which they did not get their financial aid package renewed or the amount they received did not cover anywhere near the cost of their college. You might be wondering what can you do at that point? Here are 3 suggestions of how to deal with the gap between what the school costs and what you can afford:
1. FILL OUT THE FAFSA NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOUR FAMILY EARNS – the FAFSA creates doors of opportunity for you to qualify for need-based aid, work-study assignments and institutional scholarships
2.SPEND TWO HOURS A WEEK (MINIMUM) APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS – We advocate looking for scholarships consistently and with an intensity as if it were a part-time job. Don’t waste your time on sweepstakes, scams or other contests. Invest in a specific plan to outline your skills, objectives and match them with the offers available online. Ask your parents if their employer offers scholarships, start locally with non-profits and foundations.
3. BORROW STUDENT LOANS WISELY – It pains me to even write this – BUT, If you have to take out student loans, READ THE FINE PRINT! Understand what you are signing. Federal loans should be your first option, those that are subsidized don’t accrue interest while you’re in school and have flexible payment options. Then there are private loans, unsubsidized federal student loans or PARENT PLUS loans which have high interest rates and additional fees.
College Applications can be time consuming and very overwhelming, especially if you are just getting started. In this episode of the podcast we discuss some new terminology in college applications as it relates to admission: early decision, early action and regular decision.
Here is an infographic which explains what the different terms mean to you and the college or university.
Each one of these decisions can impact your college career. Choose wisely!
Today’s episode is a discussion about “financial need” and the colleges that meet that for you. This term means different things to different people. To you, it may mean the total amount you will be responsible for in terms of college costs or expenses. To a college or university, financial need means the balance left after your EFC (expected family contribution) has been applied against the NET PRICE.
We call it – “THE GAP”.
Having a basic understanding of how colleges arrive at your need is critical. Here are the formulas that are important to note:
TUITION + ROOM/BOARD + FEES= NET PRICE
NET PRICE – EFC (Expected Family Contribution)= FINANCIAL NEED
The blog – College Greenlight – has a list of the college that I mention in this episode that meet financial need.
On this episode, we have a conversation with Todd’s nephew (from his wife’s side of the family) Justin. He is a Senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (part of the CUNY system) in Brooklyn, NY. He has decided to double major in Anthropology and Pre-Law.
Our conversation revolves around the decision he has made about being a potential law school student, scholarships, internships and career options.
What you will hear is how his thought process is shaped by his environment. Meaning, he wants to go to school in NY, have an internship in NY but it sounds like he has limited his options. I encourage him to consider NJ which is a train ride across the Hudson.
I also try to have him not straddle the fence with the two majors and focus on one specifically. He indicates that he wants to go to law school, that is where is passion is.
We really encourage him to keep an open mind in terms of where he attends law school. Sometimes you have to go where the money is. Let’s listen in…
Please visit our Program Partners (these are affiliate links, we earn a small commission and you support this show!)