Taming the High Cost of College! : Financial Aid | FAFSA | Student Loans | Scholarships | Tax | Saving | Investing | Grants | 529 plans
About This Show
If you are the parent of a college bound high school student then this podcast is for you. Our goal is to give you the information you need to SAVE TIME, SAVE MONEY, and reduce stress in the college process. We will cover all aspects of planning and paying for college including things like: What to do if you do not qualify for financial aid, student loans, FAFSA and CSS profile, merit aid, scholarships, college tax breaks, visits, ACT and SAT, college fairs, the application process, and good college planning websites. Essentially all things college.
Most Recent Episode
THCC112 – How Kristina Ellis Won Over $500,000 in Free College Money. Interview with Kristina Ellis, author of How to Graduate Debt Free and Confessions of a Scholarship Winner.
6 days ago
Get the ball rolling on college planning right now with scholarship expert Kristina Ellis. She swings by the show to share her secrets of how she won over $500,000 in free money for college. She started researching her junior year, but really put the pedal to the medal during her senior year. “I often recommend to students to not get too stressed about filling out the applications their sophomore and junior year,” says Ellis. Get the rest of her can’t miss tips in this episode!
Questions Answered Today:
What was your scholarship experience like?
“For about 6 months I sat in a library with my mom and worked, worked, worked on filling out those applications,” describes Ellis. She strongly recommends waiting until your senior year and spending your time during your sophomore and junior year building your resume and having experiences.
Freshmen year is when Ellis started looking at applications to plan what she wanted to do during high school to tailor herself to future scholarship and application essays. This made her intentional in committing to activities she loved doing, but that would be great to write about.
What should parents do (and when) to make the scholarship process work successfully for them?
“I definitely encourage parents to start early,” notes Ellis, with early financial conversations starting freshmen year. You can start as early as possible, such as kindergarten, to get involved in community service and start offering those experiences to build that character in your child.
Show your student what loans look like financially and how paying that debt off will impact their life. The better they understand what debt is, the better off they will be.
Set up a “scholarship night” where once a week you sit down and look at scholarship applications and fill out a few.
“It is a numbers game,” warns Ellis, “You have to keep trying, you have to keep applying; it might take multiple attempts and multiple rejections before you win a really great award.”
On your scholarship night each week you should:
* Start with scholarship databases and create a targeted list of 25-50 scholarships to pursue that match your student well.
* Look into programs to figure out the “why” in the who. Why are they giving away this award? What do they value? What kind of person are they looking for? Get to know these programs that are