Monday, October 08, 2007

I came across the 2006 Report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. The report, titled "Measuring Up: The National Report Card on Higher Education", gives the percentage of annual family income needed to pay net college costs at public 4 year institutions.
Ohio 42%
New Jersey 37%
Iowa 30%
Oregon 36%
Washington 31%
Illinois 35%

The states were graded as to how much they are trying to help the situation. Here are the results:
California and Utah (rated #1) both get a C
Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington get a D
All the rest get an F

It is clearly seen that higher education is a very costly pursuit today! HomeSchool2C0llege addresses this very issue. Scholarships and grants are the only way many can afford to go to college, but getting awarded those monies is not always easy. Come by our website and take a look at what we offer.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summer is winding down quickly, and for the recent high school grad, that means time to begin packing for college! For us, we packed carefully and tried to think of everything our student would need, but there will always be those last minute Wal-Mart runs to get all the little incidentals that you didn't think about. To help you prepare, we have a packing list on our website that may help you think of some of the things your child will need for dorm life.

Go to and click on the Helpful Hints tab. Our "Packing List for College".

Good luck to all those Freshmen heading off to college!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not happy with the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) that was sent to you on your FAFSA? Frequently when families recieve the Student Aid Report from their filed FAFSA, they are amazed at how high the EFC has been set. If this has happened to you, don't despair---you can file an appeal!

If you feel that your EFC is unreasonably high, write a letter to the financial aid administrator of the college to which you are applying. Explain why you think the current package isn't enough to allow you to attend that school--maybe you had unexpected expenses since you filed your FAFSA or there are some other circumstances that have changed since you filed, or possibly the information didn't fit on the FAFSA form anywhere and you want to clarify it for them. Be sure you include some documentation to support your claim (send in tax returns, receipts from medical expenses, pay stubs, etc). You can explain why your family can't afford the expenses as they currently stand.

You can also mention your own accomplishments that might help them understand what a valuable asset you could be to their school. Prove to them that you are worthy of their consideration for more aid.

If you have been offered a better deal at another school, you can also give them that information. It may be enough to encourage them to offer you more money to get you to attend
This may not get you further aid, but they will know you are serious about wanting to attend their school and they may be able to increase your aid package in some way. It frequently works, so be sure to give it a try!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Your child has worked hard at putting some money into his savings account---tucking this away for future college expenses. That is an excellent habit for a young person to get into; however, for college savings, it could be costly!
Colleges generally expect a student to pay about 35% of savings accounts in his name whereas they only expect parents to pay somewhere closer to 6% of total savings for college costs. They will use both accounts to figure what the student and his family can afford to pay for college expenses, so maybe it's time to think this through a little bit.
If your child will be heading to school in the fall of 2008, you might want to consider letting him use some of his savings for camps, computers, clothing or whatever this summer and next fall. Allowing her to spend savings on things she will need at college in a year might be a good use of the money.
These and other money-savings tips are available on my website:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Teens and volunteering

Our community sustained heavy damage from a tornado last weekend, so on Monday I volunteered to help with some clean up. As I was working in a yard, a group of teenage boys came by to help. They were so pleasant and enthusiastic and got the job done in a hurry! Several of them commented that they wished they could be out of school for several more days, saying, "I'm learning a lot more with this than I ever do in school!"

It is these types of experiences that can be used to teach our teens the meaning of community and the value of service given for others with no thought of reward! These kids were seeing up close exactly what some of our citizens were going through and teaching them to be compassionate people. I know they went home that evening feeling that they had done something significant---they felt needed and useful.

These are the types of things all teens need. Keep on the lookout for community projects in which your teens can participate. Keep careful records of these things so that you can remember what they did and the people they served. These are the sorts of things that can go into scholarship applications a little later, and scholarship committees always like to see these types of activities from their applicants.

This is where my materials come in. The calendar portion of the notebook is the place where records of participation can be kept so that when the information is needed for scholarship application, it is easy to find and retrieve. Also, in my materials, I give lots of information on things kids can do to position themselves effectively for scholarship purposes. Don't get me wrong here, I would never encourage teens to do everything with the thought of scholarships later on, but rather to do these things in order to help others. The possible scholarships should be just an added benefit to what they have learned from being good citizens and decent human beings!

One other thing that may be beneficial with volunteer work is to give a young person something to put down on a future job application. Rather than leave a blank for previous employment, they could list significant volunteer work done. This would speak volumes to a future employer!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Big Scholarships vs Small Scholarships

When searching for scholarship money, you will discover that there are many sources for scholarships. The local scholarships that we found were generally smaller amounts of money (anywhere from $250 to $1,000) and were only good for one year. We thought this was very helpful in getting into a college, but then what to do for the other years of required education?

Small scholarships are relatively plentiful, but in working a strategy for college funding, it is best to search out some on-going scholarships. These are also available from many sources but are generally a little more difficult to find. Be sure to stay in touch with scholarship search engines like and check out any of the larger scholarships they link for you. One great place to find on-going scholarship money is from your college financial aid office. Be sure to ask them about academic scholarships that will continue throughout college (generally a specific grade point must be maintained). We found these to be the best scholarships overall! The school may also have other significant scholarships, so be sure to ask.

Whatever scholarships you find, be sure to think ahead to the following college years. Don't choose a college based on what you may receive your freshman year---you may not be able to afford the following years! Whatever you do, PLAN AHEAD!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Here's a quick idea when you make college visits:
If you are taking or planning on taking some courses at a local community college, there is always a concern that your hours may not transfer to the university you plan to attend. Next time you make a college visit, simply bring along a copy of your community college's catalog and ask the admissions office if hours from that school will transfer. It may save you many hours of worry and lots of dollars!
Be sure to check about those community college credits early on---it would be a waste of time and money to take a bunch of classes only to find that your hours won't transfer! Better to be safe than sorry!