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resourceful ways to pay for college

margaretloftus9margaretloftus9 0 replies2 threads New Member

My name is Margaret Loftus. I'm a freelance reporter for the U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Colleges guide and I have received permission from College Confidential to post here. I am interested in interviewing students (or their parents) who have found resourceful and informative ways to pay for college. For instance: someone who cobbled together a range of off-the-beaten-path scholarships or a student who was a savvy negotiator with a school and earned some more aid that way. Even an entrepreneur who has built a business to get them through school. I'm looking specifically for a student who will still be in college in the fall, so no graduating seniors. If this is you (or your child), please email [email protected] Thanks.
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Replies to: resourceful ways to pay for college

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33586 replies4232 threads Super Moderator
    Moderator's Note:
    This poster has been vetted.
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 549 replies2 threads Member
    You mean resourceful like fun and clever and readable? Or boring resourceful like eating your vegetables, saving over the course of years, choosing schools that are affordable and sacrificing things at home to pay for education first? I'm the latter, with one kid at a good LAC, one in trade school and a high schooler considering a service academy (plus a sixth grader of no account whatsoever.) No flash, just saving and budgets.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14379 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 1
    Boring Strategies for Affordable Colleges
    If you are told there is no money, or you don’t know how much money, or there is a limited amount of money you need to choose colleges that are affordable for you family. For your parents, it used to be possible to work your way through college. This is no longer the case

    Financial Need
    If your family has financial need (according to FAFSA/CSS, not what you think!), you can get need-based grants.
    • Look at Net Price Calculators on colleges to see if you would get need based financial aid.
    • Apply to Colleges that meet Full need

    Another way to get scholarship is through merit scholarships. Merit scholarships are used to attract strong students to a college. Ivy League schools do not give out merit scholarships because all students are strong that go there.
    1) Look for scholarships
    a. Apply to colleges where your stats are significantly above average to get merit scholarships
    b. Look for colleges with auto-scholarship based on gpa/sat http://automaticfulltuition.yolasite.com/
    2) Study for SAT on Khan Academy to increase your SAT score

    Lower Cost Schools
    Another way to save money on colleges is look for colleges with a lower sticker price. Also you can get credits for almost free in HS and then use them in college and attend for fewer years.
    • Look for cheaper schools. In-state public schools are usually much cheaper than private/out of state schools
    • Look to get as many college credits as you can in HS.
    o Take AP or IB classes and do well on the AP/IB tests so you can get college credit. Find colleges that give extra credit for IB (e.g., SUNY Binghamton). If you have enough you may be able to graduate early. *Unless you want to go to medical school. Medical school don’t want you to fulfill the requirements of Bio, Chem, Org Chem, Physics with AP.
    o Your state may have a "running start" or "dual enrollment" program where you can take college courses for free in HS
    • Go to community college for two years, and then transfer to a state school
    edited April 1
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3913 replies71 threads Senior Member
    edited April 1
    Oy. Yet another entertaining article in the works that will leave all too many students and families with the notion that their kid can magically do the same. The situations described in the OP are the so-rare-as-to-be-nearly-impossible events, and do not provide useful examples for the other 99.9999999999999%

    If you want to write something that will truly serve the majority of your readers, go read through the Financial Aid Forum.

    I agree with this 100x

    Please start helping people become financially literate and understand the FAFSA and CSS Profile. This would be so much more helpful
    edited April 1
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  • thumper1thumper1 77175 replies3429 threads Senior Member
    +1 for @happymomof1

    This article will make it appear that this is something any college wannabe can do.

    To the OP...be realistic...what %age of college bound students or students IN college right now can cobble together enough money to fully fund...or even half fund college costs? Surely you are smart enough to know that %age is low...and you don’t want to mislead your readership.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3402 replies80 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2
    OP should also note in his/her article that wee little almost "scam" that many colleges use--public colleges have been known to do this. They "keep the tuition low" and then charge fees. Administrative fees. Or extra fees tacked onto room and board. So then they can argue to the public or administrators "our tuition is low" but then the fees constitute about 50% more additional cost. State governments may tout in the press: Zero tuition for STEM majors! But the cost of room and board and fees are not included....and those alone can be about $80K for four years ....

    See for example Southern Illinois University's pricing plan--
    https://fao.siu.edu/_common/documents/2020-2021-financial aid documents/20202021_Undergraduate_Budget.pdf
    edited April 2
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6165 replies26 threads Senior Member
    @HKimPOSSIBLE. Have the OP read your first thread. This is a very uplifting story that might be interesting for your readers.

    This is the second thread.... Can't find the first one.

    Very real uplifting story about a kid that fought all odds being rejected since needed his green card. Took off a year, got the card, reapplied and has many amazing offers this year.

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  • HImomHImom 35419 replies396 threads Senior Member
    OP, I think with COVID-19 top of mind for many, a good topic would be how to choose an affordable U, since parents (never mind students) may have a tough time staying employed with all the closures and employment downturn.

    Also good to mention are new factors to consider now that COVID-19 has turned the world on its side.
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  • eldonjacob177eldonjacob177 6 replies2 threads New Member
    How would I pay for college? Same as everyone who's borrowed money and owing loads and loads of money that will take half a lifetime to pay back.

    But one thing you must remember, work-study jobs may seem ideal in the beginning. However it takes the life out of you at the end of the day, you would lose valuable opportunity to mingle with friends, and lose focus for your jobs which could easily be a burnout factor.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6165 replies26 threads Senior Member
    @eldonjacob177. Why does work study take the life out of you?? Both my kids "wanted" to work during school. Both schools work study will adjust their hours around your schedule. Internships etc liked the idea both kids worked. Employers will also.

    They both made friends at their jobs and it forced both of them to manage their time more wisely. Trust me, having too much time is not good anyway. We are talking 10-15 hours week not 40 hour weeks. Plus the extra cash is great. They have never asked me for money and when I offer some they both say they have their work money. There is some pride in that for them 💰👏😊

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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3660 replies51 threads Senior Member
    You should talk to some military enlisted folks. The GI bill is a great way that many people use to pay for college.
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