My oldest son, Jonathan, is 10 years old. Going on 11. When we found out we were pregnant with him we looked into how much college was going to be to attend. It was anywhere from $20k - $40k depending on where you were going. And those were community colleges, mixed with some state colleges. Now if you wanted a private or Ivy-League college you might as well double to tripple the hightest amount. You could buy a house with what some colleges charge for tuition!
So we had every intention of putting money aside for college as our children grew up, but we weren't the best in making financial decisions and that didn't happen. Fast-forward almost 11 years and we have no idea how we are going to pay for college. Plus the cost of college has gone sky high. Even community college is expensive!
Needless to say we need some help! We had trouble navigating financial aid as highschool students and even as adults wanting to further our education. Enter College Common Sense and their product Going to College and Paying for it (online video & workbook).
College Common Sense and Going to College & Paying for it was created by Denise. She works in the financial aid department and really knows what you need to know to get money for college. Click here to view a short introduction by Denise.
Jonathan is going into 6th grade next year. That means 6 short years from now he is going to be entering the world of college! My heart goes faint and then screams at the thought of funding school!
Jonathan and I would watch the videos together in the afternoons and go through the workbook together. I found it very informative. It told what YOU (as the student) need to do to prepare for college. The 6 videos go over the following: The Big Picture, How Financial Aid Works, All About The Free Money, The System That Works, You in the Process, & Put it All Together. She emphasizes that it is all up to YOU to work hard to get the money. Whether it's scholarships, grants, loans, you have to do the work. It's not something that just magically falls into place.
Another thing we did was we signed up for the FREE lesson plans that Denise offers. These are great ways to involve your child. And even though Jonathan is only in 5th grade right now, I don't feel that it is too early to start preparing him to do things to save money for college. In the lesson plans, Denise suggests some videos to watch and activities for your child to do.
Each activity she suggests are age/grade appropriate. I liked how she suggested he make a spiral bound notebook called "all about me." He loves to draw and write so that was right up his alley. Denise suggests a different activity each week for you to work on. I highly recommend signing up for the free newletter with lesson plans.
I think at this point this might have gone over his head a little bit. But I am glad we were able to do it as it let me know what all I need to help him do in preparing for college. It has been many years since I had done anything regarding college so this was a great refresher for me as well.
Overall, I felt the program beneficial for us. My son might not have realized it was beneficial, but I think as we go through it over the next 6 years he will. He did start to ask questions about the videos and about the topics covered. I was glad he did that because it did show that he was paying attention.
I feel so strongly in my son being able to pay for his college that we will work together to get this accomplished as much as possible! But not oly will I be working with him, as my other children come of age, we will do the same thing with them.
To purchase Going to College and Pay for it (online and workbook) click here. It is $25 for 12-months of access.
There is also a DVD with the workbook option as well. It is $50 + $5 S&H.