How to Be a Financial Aid Independent Student

Wow, that’s a mouthful.  Sounds great but is it achievable?

The cost of College has risen dramatically over the last 20 or so years.  It is getting harder for young students to get into a well known school and the costs have become in many peoples eyes prohibitive.  Parents are finding it harder and harder to pay for their children’s college education or even make a major contribution.  Choosing the right college for your child and your finances can be daunting but is very important.

 

That is why more and more students need Financial Aid.

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Although years ago, I had the same problems about college choice and finances.  I’ve added my personal story at the bottom of this page and a story of a friend, who has a daughter entering college this fall.

 

I’m writing this for Parents and Students:

  • Parents with children in college now
    • Did you start saving early enough to help your children?
    • Were you able to save for their education?
    • Have costs grown faster than savings?
    • Can you earn extra money to save for education?

 

  • Parents with children who will reach college age within the next few years
    • Are you now saving and did you start saving early enough to help your children?
    • Are you able to save for their education?
    • Have costs continued to grow faster than savings?
    • Can you earn extra money to save for education?

 

  • Parents with younger children
    • Are you now saving and did you start saving early enough to help your children?
    • Are you able to save for their education at this time?
    • Have costs continued to grow faster than savings?
    • Can you earn extra money to save for education?

 

  • Students in college now
    • How are you paying for college?
    • Do your parents help?
    • Do you need Financial Aid?
    • Did finances play a part in your decision as to which college to attend?
    • Can you earn extra money to help pay for education?

 

  • Students who are nearing college within a few years
    • Have you and / or are you planning how to pay for college?
    • Can your parents help?
    • Will you need Financial Aid?
    • Will finances play a part in your decision as to which college to attend?
    • Can you earn extra money to save and/ or pay for education?

 

So far I have asked a lot of questions without answers.  I will also pose that just saving money in a Bank Account doesn’t seem to work anymore because of the low bank interest rates on savings

The IRS and I believe most of the states have created a 529 Tax Advantaged Savings Plan authorized by Section 529 of the Tax Code.  Most states have their own 529 Plan and you need to investigate the plan in the state you have your income or live.

Many Investment firms and Insurance companies offer plans to help people save for their children’s education.

TRowePrice, Gerber Life, Scholarshare, American Express, Vanguard, Fidelity are just a few companies that offer many plans to help you save for a college education.  I am not advocating any specific company but just ideas of reputable companies you can consult.  Looking into this costs you nothing but a little time, and the benefits can be essential to help your children.

 

What do you do when money is so tight that saving for college just doesn’t seem possible?

I could suggest that perhaps both parents need to work.  The Mom who stayed at home while the children were young may need to go to work, now that the children are in school.  Perhaps you were not even able to sacrifice financially and stay home, but have already been working.  Todays society is such that more often than not both parents have to work to make ends meet.  If you want to save for college, you have to sacrifice somewhere else.  Easier said then done!

 

Is there another way to gain additional income? 

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Can I truly earn money on the Internet?   Can we possibly do it as a family?

Desktop_computerIf you are like I was, I was pretty good at surfing the WEB but knew nothing about becoming part of the internet.  That is one of the reasons I started this website.  Help people like you find a pathway to earn extra money.  Check out my page on Looking for Financial Independence.  On this page I also refer to a page on How to Build a Free Website.

 

The whole idea is we found a place to learn called Wealthy Affiliate.  Sometimes it is referred to as the Wealthy Affiliate University.  You can also earn as you learn once you have chosen your direction and have an operating website.  Wealthy Affiliate is a place to learn how to earn money on the internet.  It contains multiple layers of lessons, step by step, what to do to build a business.  There is a lot of information about the lessons on this website.  The first series of 10 lessons are free, as are 2 SiteRubix websites which you can build.

In addition, Wealthy Affiliate is a huge worldwide network of online entrepreneurs helping one another.  They are happy to share experiences, both their problems and the eventual solution.  Network members freely ask for help and receive it from other members.

Wealthy Affiliate is free to join.  Your starter membership contains 10 lessons on how to earn money online.  In addition, you can create 2 websites and be taught how to do it.

You have nothing to lose but a little enjoyable time.

 

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My Personal College Story

When I reached college age, my parents had no money and even though colleges were significantly cheaper the idea of Tuition, Room and Board, Books and Living Expenses seemed overwhelming.  Fortunately, New York had a City University made up of several 4 year schools throughout the city and a system of 2 year schools for an AA degree.  You went to school and lived at home.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was not open enrollment.  Applicants were put into a list ordered by your High School GPA and your College Board score.  They took only so many applicants.  Sometimes you didn’t get into your first choice 4 year school but were able to get into one of the other 4 year schools.  If you didn’t make a 4 year school you had the option of going to a 2 year school.  These school were essentially open enrollment but sometimes students had to take some remedial courses before they could move on.  If you had a C+ average at the end of a full 2 year curriculum, you were guaranteed admittance to 1 of the 4 year schools to obtain your full degree.

The system was tough but actually fair because it provided a full education to those who were ready, and a path to obtain a full degree to those who were not quite ready.

 

My Friends Story

I have a friend whose daughter will enter college in the fall of this year.  She was a good student with a good GPA.  She was accepted to at least one of the higher level In-State Universities.  She also was accepted to a State University.  If confused it is like UNC or NC State, or any other state.  At either school she would live away from home.  There was a major difference in cost between the 2 schools.  After discussions with her parents, she chose to go to the State school, whereby her parents could afford to cover the expense.  If she went to the University school she would have needed student loans.

 

Please feel free to leave comment below.  I would like to know if you found this useful.

If you want, you can also contact me at saul@onlineentrepreneuring.com

 

 

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