Didn’t Get Enough Scholarship Money? 5 Tips What You Can Do Now

If you’re the parent of a senior, without a lot of time to plan, this is for you in case you don’t get enough money from the school to better manage the cost of your child’s college education.

If you’re the parent of a high school Sophomore or Junior, this is for you, too, so you understand where to turn if the schools let you down and you still need more money for college.

Because one thing’s for certain… it’s getting tougher to get a good package out of the schools.  A recent headline in the Wall Street Journal confirmed this:  “Schools Cut Student Grants and Scholarships”

More students are receiving less money than they are entitled to and the size of scholarships offered by a lot of schools has grown smaller over the last seven years.

So without further ado…

Here are Five Little Known Secrets To Paying for College

Secret #5: Think About Sending Your Student To A School That Offers A CoOp.

A Co-op is a program where students alternate between full-time study and a full-time, paid job.  The upside is that your student is earning enough money to pay a good portion of their tuition and gaining hands on work experience.  The down side to this option is that it typically takes at least five years to graduate.

Secret #4: Start At The Community College or a State School And Then Transfer To A Private College.

If your student gets accepted to both private and state schools and prefers to go to one of the private schools, you need to look at how much that is really going to cost.  If the private college offers a less-than-stellar package and sending your kid there will put you and/or your student into deep debt, then think about starting at the community college or state school and then transferring.

You’ll save a lot of money upfront and your student will end up with a diploma from the private school all the same.

However, if your student doesn’t get top grades they’re going to ahave a tough time transferring over.  AND schools tend NOT to offer their best scholarships and aid to transfer students.  Keep this in mind before you opt to take advantage of this.

Secret #3:  Consider the Military.

There are two ways this could work:

First, is to join ROTC at the college you want to attend and apply for an ROTC scholarship.  It is competitive, however the scholarship and your reserve pay can cover a good portion of your college expenses.

Second, apply to one of the service academies – which are extremely difficult to get into – the competition is similar to the Ivy League.  To apply you must have excellent grades and top-notch SAT scores; pass a physical and have a recommendation from a Congressman or Senator.  If your child can get past all of the above AND pass the gauntlet in the admissions office, they’ll enjoy a FREE college education.

For both options, the downside is that in exchange for that college education, they will be required a commitment to serve several years in the military.

Secret #2: Look Into Outside Scholarships To Help Pay For College

True, private scholarships only make up 1% of the money out there to help you pay for college.  And true, according to FinAid.org the vast majority of that private scholarship money amounts to $2,500 or less.

But, like they say for the Lotto – you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Caution: You should NOT pay to search for private, outside scholarships.  Most of these search services are bogus and will charge you an arm and a leg.  You can search for free at FastWeb.comScholarships

Secret #1: Try Borrowing From An Innovative Loan Program

Before you use any kind of private student loans, do your best to qualify for federal loans which offer deferred repayment and some are even interest-free until your child graduates.

If you still need to borrow more, try borrowing from your 401K or a pension plan.  Many allow you to borrow up to 50% of the value of the plan or up to $50,000 interest-free.

You should also look at home equity loans instead of a commercial loan as the interest rate is typically lower and you can deduct the interest on your taxes.

Don’t “hope” you get in or get a scholarship – PLAN your way thereStart by scheduling your money-saving College Plan Review 

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