FAFSA

Twelve Myths & Truths about College

It’s that time of year again… It’s time for 17-year-olds to make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. It’s time for these kids to decide what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. It’s time for seniors in high school to choose a college.

My daughter had to make these decisions last year. She began her freshman year of college at Northern Kentucky University last month. I’m going to tell you some of the things you are going to be told your child must do and then I’m going to tell you the truth based on our experience.

 

 

 

 

Things Other People, Including High School Guidance Counselors, are Going to Tell You and Your Children:

You should apply to five to seven schools to make sure you get accepted to one.
You should apply to schools you know you can’t afford.
There are plenty of scholarships out there and you’ll be sure to find one.
You can wait until after you graduate to make a final decision on which college you will attend.
Students with high GPAs and ACT scores will get a full ride.
You have to live on campus to get the full college experience.
You will find some way to pay for college, even if it’s loans.
College is really the only way to make something of yourself.
Books will cost at least $1,000 a semester.
Don’t fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you know your child won’t qualify for free grants.
Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is what you should be able to pay toward your child’s college.
You can’t receive new scholarships after you started college.

 

The Truth Based on Our Experience:

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How to Prep for Your Child’s Senior Year

Okay, I admit it… this title is misleading. My daughter Andi is a senior in high school and I’m not really sure what the best way to prep for senior year is but I can tell you some of the do’s and don’ts we have learned along the way. I will say you should start preparing before freshman year even starts.

Draft a plan for the next four years that includes what classes your student will take and when. Make sure you cover all of the requirements and then figure out what electives your child might want to take. Andi changed her mind throughout the years on the electives but at least we had a plan and knew exactly what had to be taken to meet her graduation requirements.
Decide with your child if they will take advanced or college placement classes and do your research. Not all colleges accept AP credits and even some of the credits accepted do not actually give you the general study credit you need. Your teen must pass the AP test, a college exam, at the end of the year to even receive the credits. Although some colleges accept a weighted GPA (a B is an A if it’s an AP course), not all colleges do. Since high school students are taking college level courses in the 10th and 11th grades, they don’t always score as high as they would if it was a regular course. This will impact their GPA. Along with your student, decide if you want to focus on college credits, rigor or GPA.

Most colleges require students to have two consecutive years of a foreign language in high school. Think about this when scheduling freshman […]