Visit a School without Actually Visiting

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Visiting a school before applying is ALWAYS a good idea!

But, what if you lack the time and/or the money to visit?

What are your options?

Visit School Websites

From school-sponsored links, to YouTube videos, to specific campus photos, to cafeteria menus, the Internet provides a volume of information bringing schools to life.

Virtual Tours

Many schools offer virtual campus tours via their website or via specific smartphone apps. These provide a campus guide, great visuals, and perhaps valuable admissions information.

Student Newspapers

Many schools have one or more newspapers written by students, editions of which often can be found on the school’s website. They spotlight areas of importance to the student population, how they have fun, and a plethora of informal activities.

Speak with a School Representative

Contact admissions reps of the schools in which you have interest. They can answer your questions and help determine fit with their school.

Attend College Fairs

Schools send reps to college fairs to meet students and parents and introduce their schools. With a prepared list of questions, much can be discovered in a short period of time.

College Mailings

Sign up for a school’s mailing list via the admissions section of its website. Welcome the advertising you receive, as each item may contain a nugget of information you‘ll find valuable as you continue to identify schools of interest.

Arrange for Local Interviews

Contact the school’s admission office to determine if a local alumnus, current student home on break, or even a local representative of the school may be available for an interview.

Don’t Place Undue Importance on Classmate Comments

Friends have no idea what will make a school the right fit for you. And, most likely, they have not experienced what it’s like to attend any school. The right fit is for you to discover. Do your research.

Contact our Professional College Planners for assistance with your family’s college planning campaign.

 

School Loans and Home Ownership – Are They Incompatible?

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You’ve heard, haven’t you?

Today’s young adults aren’t buying houses like those of yesteryear. Rather, as the stories go, they’re living roommates (yes that includes parents!), renting not buying, or blowing paychecks on anything but a house, a condo, or a bungalow.

Sure, housing prices rapidly outpaced incomes since 1980. But, so has college attendance!

And, based on the Law of Unintended Consequences, the otherwise positive occurrence has led to incredibly burdensome school debt.

According to statistics, as of 2015, students with school loans graduated with 70% more debt than those just a decade earlier, at an average of $34,000. The amount as of 2017 was $37,000.

That could be 2-4 decades worth of repayment…

And college grads with debt save half as much for a downpayment as those without, taking about four years longer to make the jump to home ownership.

Skip school? Not the answer…

Those without a degree have a much tougher road to owning a home.

Typically, the quicker a downpayment can be made, the quicker the mortgage is satisfied, the longer one can save for retirement.

Perhaps the ever-increasing cost of a higher education and the importance of that education may be partly to blame. Graduating from college improves access to higher paying employment and increased future earning potential. A 2011 study showed that bachelor’s degree holders earn a lifetime average of $2.27 million, versus $1.3 million with a high-school diploma.

Anecdotally, college grads with and without debt may avoid home ownership for reasons such as a shift away from a suburban lifestyle, desired delays in starting families, a deep-seated post-2008 distrust in the housing market, or a simple desire for increased mobility. There’s little evidence to support these theories.

When young adults were asked about future home ownership goals, 80% wanted to be a future home owner. Unfortunately, almost 75% believe school debt is preventing the purchase.

If you or anyone you know is nearing or hopelessly mired in a similar situation, please consider our debt elimination program. It’s designed to help individuals and families eliminate debt, including mortgages and student loans, typically in 9 years or less.

Contact us to schedule your free, no-obligation evaluation. You have nothing to lose; but, you might just have freedom and peace of mind to gain.

Finding Scholarships

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No doubt you’ve heard that millions, perhaps, billions in financial aid is left unclaimed every year…

You’ve likely also heard there are scholarships out there with your name on them…

So, why aren’t they falling in your lap?

There’s the rub – – you have to get out there and find them!

Use technology. Use free online scholarship search tools like www.fastweb.com or the Scholarship Finder at CollegeData.

But before signing up, establish your profile. What makes you unique? Your attributes and those of you parents can lead to scholarship opportunities. Factors to consider include:

  • Major or general area of study
  • Career plans
  • Gender
  • GPA
  • State or county of residence
  • Ethnicity/heritage
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Special condition
  • Talent
  • Occupation
  • Employer
  • College location
  • Military and veteran status
  • Sexual orientation

The more qualifications you meet, the greater the likelihood of being awarded the scholarship.

Other means of locating scholarship opportunities include: printed scholarship directories; clubs, foundations, and associations with which you are connected may offer scholarships; and, government agencies may direct you toward possibilities.

Local sources, such as Chambers of Commerce, can help you connect to community sources that may offer scholarships.  These sources include: your and your parents’ employers; local businesses; local community and service organizations; local chapters of clubs, foundations, and associations’ local religious groups; city and county education offices; and, your library.

You can begin your search and applications at any time. Some scholarships are available to high school juniors, even sophomores and freshmen.

Pay very close attention to deadlines and whether supporting documentation is required.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself.  But, consider it a treasure hunt.

It just may be true!