I had the pleasure of attending a free college planning workshop here in the Fort Worth area with my teen this week. The hour went back so fast since it was crammed with information. The Ducerus group gave so many great tips that I’m still processing some of it. I wanted to share my favorite tips that I learned to plan for my daughter going off to college.
All families should fill out the FAFSA no matter how much annual income you have. You just never know what you may be eligible for and filling out the FAFSA form is often times required by schools for loans and scholarships.
When listing your child’s schools of choice on the FAFSA form be sure to alphabetize the schools. Do the same when sending out test scores to the colleges of choice. Make sure you always list the schools in alphabetical order so none of the colleges ever know which is your preference. You never let a school know they are the first choice until all your packages are back. Once you receive the offers from the various colleges then you can go to the first choice school with a copy of the best package offer you received to counter-offer. I had no idea this was possible and always assume you just went with what they offered, apparently that is not always the case and often times you can get a better deal – more aid, scholarships or more.
Apply to at least 10 schools with at least four of those schools being private colleges. Surprisingly private colleges often have more financial aid available than public colleges. Which was a big shock to me considering I figured private colleges would be more expensive. I didn’t think about the fact since they are a private school they have separate funding than public schools and different expenses.
Ducerus provides free workshops to help assist you with your college planning. They make sure you are prepared before sending off your teens to college and being burdened with an expense you only thought you were prepared for. You can find a local free workshop near you on the Ducerus website. At the end of our workshop they even made a special offer for one on one time with each workshop attendee for free consultation.
College Planning Resources:
Full Disclosure: I was compensated for my time sharing my experience attending the free college planning workshop. All opinions are my own and this post was not reviewed before being published.