We are near the end of the college application process. Here are my best college application tips while they are fresh in my mind. Start thinking about this as soon as your child enters high school and start a 3 ring binder divided by schools/financial aid/scholarships etc.
Check the web site of the schools you child is interested in around July 1st to see if the essay questions for the application are updated and posted for the following year. Print them out and have your child look at them to start formulating ideas.
Have them keep a journal of favorites songs, books they have enjoyed and why, challenges they have overcome, interesting people they have met – you get the idea. When the time comes to write the essays, they will have these notes to fall back on.
If you child will be a senior in the fall, strongly encourage them to work on these essays over the summer. Do not wait until school starts, especially if they play a fall sport or they are busy with AP classes, etc.
Start collecting information on scholarships. Pay the most attention to the ones the college that you are applying to offer. Also, your child will have a better chance of obtaining a local scholarships that you might read about in the paper and through your high school guidance office, than a scholarship where they are competing nationally. Look at the essays needed for the scholarships, if applicable. Some of the entrance essays and scholarship essays can be shared, but not as many as you would think.
Keep detailed track of community service hours and experiences. Encourage your child to spend more hours on one or two projects rather than many with few hours involved.
You will most likely be shocked by your expected family contribution after you complete the FAFSA. Brace yourself.
You will need letters of recommendation from teachers for both the applications and for most of the scholarship applications. Be extra kind to these teachers and give them ample time to write these recommendations. Imagine the extra burden this places on them.
My #1 money saving tip for college is to take community college classes while you are still in high school, especially during the summer break. If you can find accredited classes online, start on your general ed classes as soon as you can.
Solutions for saving money, that’s what More With Less Today is all about. Financial experts tell us to cut our expenses, this site shows you numerous ways to do just that.