Perfect Grandparent Holiday Gift: COLLEGE SAVINGS

I post this article every year in December. This post contains one of the most brilliant ways there is to get kids through college debt-free, and grandparents love the idea. Be sure to share it with the grandparents you know!

Most grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

What Grandma and Grandpa would really love to do is give a holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line.

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the teen you love this holiday season.

grandma

This ingenious idea will help you to take the $20 you were planning to spend on a holiday gift, put that money into the best possible kind of college savings account, and still have something meaningful and beautiful for the teen to unwrap at your family’s holiday gathering.

All without nicking your own finances or damaging the teen’s future financial aid eligibility in any way.

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5 Things to Do With That Student Aid Report (SAR)

About 2-3 weeks after you fill out the FAFSA financial aid form for your college-bound high school senior or current college student, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). One of the things this Student Aid Report will tell you is how much it is believed that your family can afford to pay for college. (Look for the line that says: “Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).”

student aid report

If you find yourself laughing or crying at how high this number is, you’re not alone. Millions of families feel shocked and stunned at the high Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) listed on their child’s student aid report.

My reassuring words to you? Don’t worry too much about this right now. If you’re following me, you’re going to have many strategies you can use during the next year to bring these college costs way down.

For now, here are five things to know about your child’s Student Aid Report.

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5 Places to Get Help With College Financial Aid Forms

Are you filling out financial aid forms for a kid who’ll be in college next fall? Great. The fall before he or she enters college is the perfect time to do that.

But what do you do if you get stuck? Where do you go to get help with college financial aid forms?

help with college financial aid

Here are five places to get help with college financial aid forms.

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Want More Scholarships? GPA Matters Less Than You Think.

You’d love for your college-bound teen to get more scholarships, but you worry that his GPA just isn’t high enough. Am I right? Well, worry no more.

Good news. There are thousands of college scholarships available to students with GPAs as low as 2.50.

I’ll give you tips for finding more scholarships to apply for at the end of this post.

The question for today is: Besides high grades, what can your college-bound teen do to make himself or herself a powerful, attention-getting applicant who will get more scholarships than most other people?

The answer might surprise you.

scholarships

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3 Ways KIDS Can Get More Financial Aid For College

Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

Is your child a senior in high school, or older? This post is part 2 of a 2-part series on what to do each September to make sure the FAFSA form you fill out in early October will get your child maximum financial aid for college. To read part 1 of this very important series, click here.

You’d love to help your kid get maximum financial aid to help pay for college.

Why? Because financial aid is free money that need never be paid back.

The great news? You can get a lot of financial aid help – even if you have a relatively high income. This 2-part series will help.

FAFSA

Get your child all the free money he or she has coming.

To be sure your child gets all the free money he or she has coming, you as a parent will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every October that you’ll have a child in college the following fall. Fill this form out every October, even if you’re convinced “you won’t get anything.”

Every family of a 12th grader should fill out the FAFSA. Here’s why.

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URGENT: Will You Have a Kid In College Next Year? FAFSA Help Here

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

This post is part 1 of a 2-part series.  To read part 2, which talks about what to do about the money your child has sitting around in his or her name before you fill out the FAFSA, click here.

If you’re parenting a 12th grader or a current college student, one of the most important days in your family financial life is coming up on October 1st, 2016.

Why is this date so important?

This is the first day you’ll be allowed to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Every family of a 12th grader or a current college student should fill out the FAFSA, even if you think that your son isn’t going to college, even if you believe that your income is far too high for you to get any aid to help you pay for college. Your son could change his mind in the next year, and as far as your income – did you know that you can make up to $200,000 per year and have substantial assets and still get free money financial aid to help pay for college? Besides that, if your child does end up needing any loans for college, the FAFSA form is the one and only gateway to the best, lowest interest federally subsidized student loans.

Don’t pass up free money that your daughter might have coming to her.

The only way to find out whether you might qualify for free money to pay for college is to fill out the FAFSA form.

The FAFSA form uses a confidential process to gather information about your family’s income and assets since January 1st of your child’s sophomore year of high school. It then uses that information to determine how much it is believed that your family can probably afford to pay for college.

Let me be blunt about what I’m about to say next. Parent, it will help if you can appear as poor and needy as possible on the day you fill out that FAFSA form.

This week, use these 7 last minute strategies to help tip the FAFSA equation in your favor.

FAFSA

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How Divorced Parents Can Get More Financial Aid For College

divorced parents

Ben and Amy have been divorced for years. Finally, though, they’ve found something they both agree on: they want their teenage daughter, Sophie, to get through college as close to debt free as possible — and directly into a job she loves afterward. Millions of other divorced parents feel the same way.

What’s the key to making that happen?

Divorced parents can take 7 specific steps that can help their kids get through college debt free.

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“A Consultant Told Us NOT to Apply For Scholarships…”?!

Actual Email I Received From a Mom

In June of 2016 I received this email from a mom:

“Jeannie, I’ve been to 3 of your classes and love hearing you as well as reading your information. I value your opinion.

We have recently met with a person who we could pay to help our daughter navigate sophomore through senior year with FAFSAs, scholarships, choosing schools, etc.

I asked many informed questions because of the information you have taught me. Overall, he agreed with your stance on many things. However, he did say that applying for many scholarships early (i.e. middle school and early high school) can hurt the student’s chance of getting money from the institute they wish to attend. (Jeannie’s emphasis.) He said that he finds schools for students based on their interests/skills/location, but also who will give them the most financial aid. His take was that trying early for scholarships uses up a lot of time with little success, (Jeannie’s emphasis) and any that are won must be reported, thus decreasing financial scholarships/offers from the school of their choice later. (Jeannie’s emphasis.)

I am curious about this since we have been gearing up for searching/writing scholarship applications before late high school. We have not hired this person as of yet and would love any comment/advice you can give in regards to this point of view.”

apply for scholarships

Here’s my reply to this mom:

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Top 5 Lies We Tell Kids About College

Read This When Your Kid's in Middle School.

This post is a scary one. But read all the way down to the red print at the bottom and I’ll give you a boatload of hope about college.

college

1. “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.”

This statement is completely and utterly false. Let’s all be honest for just a minute. Don’t you know people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Let’s get even more honest. Don’t you actually know many, many, many people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Why do we purposely scare kids with this lie?

2. “You, of course, shouldn’t even consider technical school.”

The bias against technical school gets communicated to kids from the age of 12 on up in a thousand insidious ways.

The subtle message kids hear is: “Tech school is for kids who aren’t as smart as you.” “Tech school is for kids who can’t get into real college.” “We won’t even show you a catalog of job training programs available at a technical school. We don’t care if tech school would empower you to make really great money after only two years of training. We won’t even suggest the possibility of going to technical school first and then perhaps four-year college after that. You’re smart and you come from a good family — that automatically means four-year college or university for you.”

(To see my post on “Could Your Kid End Up Wealthier and Happier by Not Going to College?” click here.)

3. “Of course you’re going to take out $40,000 in student loans to go to college. Don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to pay those loans back with the excellent job you’ll get after you graduate.”

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Could Your Kid Get a Tech School Degree, and THEN a Bachelors Degree!?

Live In Minnesota? A Large Part of This Might Be Free For You.

In 2015 I wrote about how some students could end up wealthier and happier by not going to four-year college after high school. It was a life-changing post for many. If you missed it, be sure to read it here.

But what about this great idea? Your kid could go to community or technical school in a fantastic, in-demand career field for two years and gain excellent, immediately-employable job skills . . . and then start work on a bachelors degree in a related field at age 20.

“Wait, a minute . . .” I can hear you objecting. “Who wants to go to college for six straight years, and not get finished until age 24? The credits my kid would earn in technical school probably wouldn’t transfer to a four-year college, right?”

You’re right, college credits don’t generally transfer from technical schools to 4-year bachelors degree programs. But imagine this. What if your 18-year-old teen had already completed two full years of bachelors degree college credit in high school at state expense — as I explain in this webinar? That teen could complete two years of technical school between age 18 and age 20, and then finish up a bachelors degree between the ages of 20 and 22.

But wait — the news gets even better!

If your child graduated from a Minnesota high school in 2016, the very valuable technical school education I’m talking about may be FREE for him or her — even if your family income is well above average.

Wow!

If you’re going to help your child access this benefit, though, there are several things you need to know right now.

technical school

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