Workshops for Financial Planning for College

Updated on April 23, 2011
C.C. asks from McKinney, TX
8 answers

My daughter is 2 years away from going to college and in the past year we've started to receive all sorts of literature about college workshops that claim to help you with financial planning, scholarships, qualifying for financial aid, etc. It's clear that some of these are fake, but I have to believe there are some legitimate ones out there. Any recommendations or experiences you've had would be very helpful. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the great advice! Sounds like I should avoid the literature and take advantage of what the school district offers. McKinney ISD does sponsor college nights but usually only for junior and seniors so we'll do that this upcoming school year. We have a college fund but it won't cover all four years (just not possible for us with 3 children plus making sure we're saving a little for retirement) so financial assistance will be very important. And those scholarships!

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answers from Tyler on

When you decide WHERE she will attend college, go to their financial aid office and get the info you need. That's all we ever did.

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answers from Dallas on

You both should talk to her High School Counselor. That is part of their job to help students.

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answers from Austin on

So she will be a junior this fall?

You need to speak with your daughters High School. Usually they will hold workshops for parents and students giving you all of this info. Also your school district will sometimes hold workshops. Some high school campus have a person that specializes in College Coaching. These people will make sure your child has the opportunity to attend on campus visits , the that the student have the scholarships available and posted at the school.

Also yes, FAFSA is stil the way to go also the College Board (they are the ones that administer the SAT) will also have ways of helping with finding scholarships.

DO NOT freak out about all of the paperwork being sent to you guys. Just throw away things you know for sure you do not want to participate with, or do not apply to you. Avoid private loan companies

Make a pile of any colleges your daughter may be interested in.Have her glance through them, not to make choices, but just to see what is out there.

Also start helping your daughter get organized. She needs to start this fall collecting information for a college resume. Get an accordion file for her and one for you make tabs for activities,Daughter~ Awards, volunteering, Academic Resume, SAT scores, ACT scores. Apply for scholarships, Applied and mailed Scholarship forms.

Mom, yours should include Completed, Tax info 2010,2011, 2012.
Scholarship information

A Academic Awards from 8th grade through now.

All volunteer hours from 8th grade through now.

A list of all organizations she participates in from 8th grade through now.

And her extra curricular activities, from 8th Grade to now (this can include church things).

Here is the deal, through the FAFSA form all Govt grants and loans will be covered by this. This can only be applied for the school semester before college.

The College Board will give you the option of sending her info dircetly to the colleges she has applied to and then the colleges she is accepted o will also send you info on what your daughter qualifies for and what they are offering her.

Keep in mind when looking at colleges consider their ENDOWMENTS. Private colleges that have been around a long time, have very stable an healthy endowments and can really give great scholarships.

If your daughter is an outstanding student. really make sure to look at the schools that tend to give full or almost full scholarships to their students. Rice University, Swarthmore, etc..

You will be amazed at how much financial help is out there.

#1 Rule. Your daughter is the one that has to live at the college or University and do the work. She needs to be happy with HER choice. It seems scary but it will all come together in the end.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I guess my older two were lucky because I went to college the same time they did. It really isn't difficult. You fill out the FAFSA, even if you think you have no chance of qualifying for financial aid. Talk to the admission counselors at the colleges you are most interested in, they will know of scholarships that are available.

Your daughter's high school should have a guidance counselors that can direct you to scholarships as well.

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answers from Dallas on

Many school districts have college nights that offer sessions on applying for college and financial aid information as well as representatives from some colleges. Check to see if your school district offers these (or maybe check on a nearby district) and plan to attend with your daughter. There will be a lot of great information you will get there. Each college has its own requirements for financial aid and what you might qualify for. All require that you fill out a FAFSA form. After you narrow down a college choice to a few schools, visit with the financial aid director on the phone or in person to get more information and ideas.

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answers from Dallas on

You don't have to go to these "workshops". The HS counselor can guide you in the right direction FREE. We are in Plano ISD and our counselor provided us with a booklet with all kinds of advice on where to look for scholarships, grants, etc. Have you had your conference with your counselor yet?

We are getting all the solicitations from the workshops. That is because our email was on the PSAT test and we are targeted.

Our Sr. High school (Plano West) has colleges come visit and talk to the students about financial planning as well.

As for us, we started saving for daughter's college before she was born and now at 16 she should be fully funded, but we are continuing to pour money into her fund.

We refuse to have her come out of college in debt. We've planned long and hard and manage to live debt free and have taught her the same.

Good luck, there is a lot to do. We are heading toward Jr year in the fall!

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answers from Boca Raton on

All I know is that we are not taking out any loans (nor will we advise our kids to do so).

I just finished paying off my grad school loan (a decade later) - just in time for my junior to finish high school in a year.

Most student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, so that expense can turn into a real albatross down the road for a young person.

And college is more expensive than ever.

Something has to change soon.

JMO - sorry - this is something I'm worrying about myself.



answers from Philadelphia on

Unless you have plenty of money to pay fees for these companies, just fill out the FAFSA on-line (very easy) as well as your state-aid website. Also, if you have a child that has some special characteristic, look for scholarships at the school she applies to (just call the financial aid offices). My son with perfect math SATs got scholarships via the schools, and loans. My daughter just got loans. And your high school adviser should give you a list of other possible scholarships. I sort of feel like the people that can pay for the companies to help you "find" financial aid are the same ones that can pay 100% of the tuition anyway!! There are also books to help with scholarships, which you can get at the library. As well as searching on-line. Good luck!

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