Bay College Planning Specialists

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HOW CAN PARENTS OF COLLEGE BOUND STUDENTS ACCESS FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE?

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This Way to Free Money for College

The cost of a college education is skyrocketing.  Other than the purchase of your home, a college education will be a family’s largest expense in their lifetime.  Is your family prepared to spend in excess of $100,000.00 for your kid’s college education?  I’ve listed a few tips that will help ease the pain if parents become proactive in the process.

Tip #1. Start the search for schools that are a good fit for your child.

Find schools that offer maximum financial aid.  Some are more generous based on their endowments.  Start with a list of 20 to 30 schools  and begin to research their aid history.  Some schools will help more than others.  A good place to start is with College Board’s website(www.collegeboard.com).

Tip #2.  Apply to schools at which  your student has a good chance of being admitted.

Grades and test scores should be in the top 25% of the application pool.  The higher your students GPA, test scores and more importantly, community service attributes, the better chance of admittance and endowment scholarship consideration.

Tip #3. Research the schools Merit Scholarship qualifications.

Merit scholarships are based overall talents of your student.  Family income is not a determining factor when qualifying for these types of awards.

Tip #4. Always complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid.

You may be pleasantly surprised even if you are a six-figure family.  If you don’t apply for FAFSA, you will be ineligible for any type of federal aid including student loans as well as many merit scholarships.


Dan Evertsz, the College Money Pro, is the owner of College Planning Specialists located in Oakland, CA. For the past 17 years, he and his partner have helped of hundreds of families obtain financial aid from universities all across the country.

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Filed under: Admissions, Applications, Banks, College Debt, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Essays, FAFSA, Grants, High School, Out of State Tuition, Pell Grants, Public Service, Scholarship, School supplies, Students, Tax Credits, Tuition, Universities, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

College Financial Aid – A Game of Strategy

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By Pete Becker

Every year, tens of millions of students and their parents struggle to complete the required FAFSA and CSS Profile forms. These forms are required if the family wants to receive financial aid. They ask for all kinds of personal, financial, and even religious information. It can be a very invasive process. What most parents don’t understand is that they are playing a Game conceived by the Federal Government and run by the colleges. Rarely do the colleges explain the rules in advance. In fact, this game is very much like a game of Poker.

For most people, the first few times they play a game, such as poker, someone explains the purpose and the rules to follow. They are helped until they understand and can play on their own. After a while, the new player may attempt to learn how to play the game well enough to win more of the time. If the player is really serious, they will seek out books, articles, and software to sharpen their skills. The strategies they learn will give them confidence in their abilities and they will start to win more often.

The College Financial Aid Game is different though. The rules of the game were created by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. Each college gets to add in their own additional rules or change the rules to benefit that college. The game is aimed primarily at the parents. Where can they go to learn about the game? Playing this game means filling out the forms and pressing Submit. For most parents, there is only a once a year opportunity to play.

This game as I have described it is a lot like poker. Your cards are actually your income and your assets. The higher cards in a poker deck such as the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack are the equivalent of higher income and assets. Lower poker cards like 2, 3, and 4 represent lower income and assets.

In Poker, the hand with the highest cards at the end of the game wins all the time, except if you are good at bluffing. In the College Financial Aid Game, if the parents are holding high cards, they loose and the colleges win. The parents have to pay the colleges or will receive less in financial aid.

If the parents are holding or appear to be holding the low cards, they win. That means that the colleges will offer them a great deal in terms of financial aid, and this will include grants and scholarships. The key to playing this game is knowing the rules and learning the strategies that will make you appear as if you have low cards. This means knowing how to appear as if your income and assets are diminished.

The colleges do not play a friendly game. Their rules are tough. They are allowed to count your income and assets even in ways the IRS does not. For income, your Adjusted Gross Income is what counts. Your deductions and expenses are your problems. For assets, most are considered fair game. There are 153 different strategies that can be used to level the playing field for you.
When playing their game, it is in your best interest to learn the rules of their game and to learn the strategies that will help you to win!

About the author:
I have had a long career in financial products and small business. My new role is to educate high school parents on how best to prepare financially for college. As an introduction, I have just completed my brand new ebook which covers ten examples that colleges don’t want you to know about the process. It is “Secrets That Colleges Don’t Want You To Know”. Download it free at http://www.collegeplanningpathways.com

Filed under: Admissions, Applications, Banks, College Debt, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Essays, FAFSA, Grants, High School, Out of State Tuition, Pell Grants, Public Service, Scholarship, School supplies, Students, Tax Credits, Tuition, Universities, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scholarships for Non Traditional Students

 

California Certified College Planning Specialists

 

By Ben Liles

In times of economic hardship scholarships for non traditional students are more important than ever as conventional financing options for college become increasingly scarce.

Logically, when economic prosperity is abundant there is a surplus of cash into general scholarship funds as well as a greater likelihood that parents of college aged children will be able to comfortably afford to send their kids to institutions of higher education. Non traditional students are generally defined as adults (22+ years old) entering college for the first time. Needless to say an overwhelming majority of scholarships are geared towards recent high school graduates with far less money being earmarked for the slightly older students. This article will outline some of the options available for non traditional students seeking scholarships.

Undergraduate transfer programs

While the vast majority of scholarship money is funneled directly to students attending four year colleges directly out of high school there is still a significant amount of money being awarded for students of all ages that are transferring from two year community college to four year universities. As more universities have grown to directly align themselves with local community colleges the funds for these scholarships have become increasingly accessible. Although in many cases initially intended for students only a couple of years removed from high
school these scholarship opportunities are almost always open to anyone showing merit worthy of the financial incentive to continue their education.

One popular source (among many) for these transfer program scholarships can be found through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. While complete information is available at the website of the foundation (jkcf.org) the basic parameters are that students progressing from a two year college program (junior college) to a four year college or university can be awarded as much as $30,000 for their continued educational pursuits. The complete process involved with applying for this financial aid can be found at the aforementioned website that is overseen by the foundation.

Continuing education for adults scholarships

Most people are not aware that while a small minority of total scholarship money goes towards continuing education for adults there is a still a significant amount available that is readily accessible when searched for in the right places. Far too many adults considering beginning their college careers are quick to use the excuse that “there is not any scholarship money for someone my age” when in fact that simply is not true. It would behoove those adults considering going to college to contact the local schools that they are considering attending and inquiring about the scholarship opportunities. Many schools around the country are embracing the positive impact they can have on their communities by instituting money specifically set aside for non traditional students. A short list of the many schools on this list includes Providence College, North Iowa Community College, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Consider sports scholarships

For many adults reading this article the very idea of being awarded sports scholarship money may initially sound completely ridiculous. The truth of the matter though is that the majority of sports scholarships are far less competitive and require less athletic prowess than the young athletes playing football on Saturdays that most people associate with full ride scholarships. Collegian athletes encompass a very wide range of sports that range from swimming, to tennis, to fencing, and golf. A little known fact is that every year hundreds of girls golf college scholarships go unused because primarily second tier universities can not find enough women interested in the sport to fill the available scholarships. Whether a non traditional student is shooting for an archery, handball, or bowling scholarship there is a realistic chance any student can find a sports scholarship in their area that they have a realistic chance of earning.

Conclusion

Someone that is proactive in their search for scholarship money will undoubtedly be pleasantly surprised with the opportunities they find. Active research, continued persistence, and thinking outside the box are the keys for non traditional students to find scholarships.

About the author:
Ben and his wife are the happy end products of finding scholarships for non
traditional students
. Now a golf coach and father of two beautiful daughters Ben shares his knowledge on his blog: www.GirlsGolfCollegeScholaships.blogspot.com.

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Filed under: Admissions, athletics, California Colleges, Campus Lifestyle, College Financing, College Planning, High School, ncaa, Scholarship, Students, Universities, , , , , , , , , , ,

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