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GAC
11-19-2008, 07:42 PM
My daughter is a senior this year at Ohio Hi-Point (JVS) in Animal Management. She has already applied, and been accepted, at Hocking Hills after she graduates this year.

She is an excellent student.... straight A's, always makes the Superintendent's List, President of FFA, very active and involved. So she has been doing everything she has to in order to possible qualify for any scholarships. The guidance counselor at school has been very helpful as far as sending home various info concerning financial aid, grants, and loans that we can apply for, with step-by-step instructions on submitting the FAFSA, etc.

I guess what I am seeking is any advice one might have for me as I'm new to this process.

To be honest.... I don't think we're going to be able to qualify for financial aid. My wife and I both probably gross too much to qualify. So it's going to come down to whatever scholarships and grants she can qualify for, as well as student loans. She also is looking into the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. She's covering every bases she can.

I currently have the Federal Student Aid manual, which covers everything from Pell Grants to loans such as Federal Perkins and Stafford loans. Very informative.

Any advice and input from those that have been there would be helpful. We are making an appointment to meet with Hocking Hills guidance and financial departments to get more info and the steps we need to start taking.

Thanks.

15fan
11-19-2008, 09:20 PM
GAC -

Turn over every stone. You'd be amazed at the different ways to piece things together on the financial side.

Whatever you do, keep this in mind:

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/acs-09.pdf

Page 15 of the .pdf

Data from the Census Bureau regarding median earnings for different levels of education.

Extrapolate the annual premium in earning power for having a degree over a 30-40 year career and the return on your investment (tuition & fees) will be very tough to beat.

Out of pocket now will, on average, more than pay for itself over the long haul.

Caseyfan21
11-20-2008, 01:10 AM
Just tell her to fill out any possible scholarship she can apply for. I did probably 30-40 of them and ended up with 4 or 5 my freshman year. That covered over half my tuition and was a big help on my parents. It may seem silly to apply for some of the scholarships but you never know what you might get. It's always worth a couple hours to take a chance.

*BaseClogger*
11-20-2008, 01:40 AM
I was in this situation last year. Just remember these things:

-Subsidized is better than unsubsidized because you don't accrue interest while the student is enrolled.

-Student loans are the best loans because you don't have to begin repayment until after graduation, upon which you are allotted a grace period of either six or nine months, depending on whether it is a Perkins or Stafford Loan. The interest rate is also much lower and fixed (I believe it's at 5%).

-After the student loans, you're next best option is the Federal PLUS Loan. These loans are through the parents and payment begins almost immediately (I think you get 60 days deferment). Like the student loans, they also have a fixed interest rate, although it is higher (I think 7.9%).

-Lastly, you've got the private loans. They usually have a variable rate. The rates are also dependent on credit score. There is a chance you can get a better deal through a private lender if you have a great credit score and you are willing to take a risk. The typical variable rates are based on the U.S. set prime rate. The prime rate is currently 4.0%, but it has historically been much higher than that. If it stays this low, you are better off with the private loan. If it shoots up, you are going to wish you had that nice fixed rate. Helpful link: http://www.wsjprimerate.us/wall_street_journal_prime_rate_history.htm

Hope that helps and others let me know if I was wrong about anything, this is a very confusing process... :)

GAC
11-21-2008, 05:18 AM
GAC -

Turn over every stone. You'd be amazed at the different ways to piece things together on the financial side.

Whatever you do, keep this in mind:

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/acs-09.pdf

Page 15 of the .pdf

Data from the Census Bureau regarding median earnings for different levels of education.

Extrapolate the annual premium in earning power for having a degree over a 30-40 year career and the return on your investment (tuition & fees) will be very tough to beat.

Out of pocket now will, on average, more than pay for itself over the long haul.

Thanks 15. Yeah, that was one thing I looked at when comparing one's earning power with a college degree compared to one without.

Hocking Hills has one of the lowest dollar per credit rates in the state. And according to what a few alumni have told me, including my neighbor and her current teacher, this school is highly regarded, and job placement upon graduation is very high.

My wife went back into the workforce about 2 years ago since our kids are pretty much grown. So our gross income is 90 thousand plus now. I may be wrong, because I have been listening to friend's whose gross income (wife also worked) was less then ours, and they couldn't get financial aid. Of course we're still going to apply.

And yes, we are covering every base. My daughter has already been applying for all types of scholarships, while also looking into more.

I think I'm going to try and set up a meeting with the school's financial aid department and see what further steps/avenues we need to be pursuing.

redsmetz
11-21-2008, 06:16 AM
We're on our third kid in college. The two oldest have graduated. I've owned my own business since before I was married (next year will be 30 years!) and it's been a roller coaster. Each of our kids has had differnet circumstances.

Our oldest earned a full tuition scholarship at UD and finished with a nominal amount of loans by today's standards (under $20K). Our younger daughter just graduated from Valparaiso with about $40K in loans. During her time in college, my business was just awful but we were helped by my wife taking a full time job about three or four years ago. It kept our heads above water. More on my daughter's loans later.

Our son is now at OSU and he's taking out some loans. Now that business presently is better and with my wife working full time, I think we're around your level too. My son still got a small scholarship at OSU and we're paying a good bit of his tuition right now. I'm hoping he finishes with around $25K in loans.

Our plan for our daughter is that after our son finishes college, my wife and I will begin to help her pay down her loans since we were unable help while she was in college. I think we'll be able to manage and it's important for us to help her out.

Both of our daughters joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps out of college, the older spent a year in DC working in an inner city school and then came back to Cincy and did a year with Americorp working at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The younger one is doing a year in Atlanta at a women's employment rights center and may do another year back here next year with a literacy program in Guatemala. That may be an Americorp postion too. The Americorp positions give the person about $5K in tuition credits either to put against loans or for graduate school.

I am very hopeful that programs like Americorps and Teach for America will be bolstered in the next administration and that other service type programs will be implemented to help kids pay for school by providing service in needed areas throughout the country.

Of course, as others have noted, leave no stone unturned for scholarships. You never know when you will find a scholarship specifically for a female FFA member who's father is a baseball fan going to college in an Appalachian area focusing on Animal Management. Seriously, there are scholarships that specific.

SunDeck
11-21-2008, 06:32 AM
GAC,
It's an annual process so keep your eyes open for opportunities throughout her schooling. She may not get any grants or scholarships this year, but some may come up later. For that reason, it will make sense for her to establish a good relationships with her department, her adviser, the financial aid office and anyone else she can find on campus. When I worked at a university, I know that sometimes departments had scholarships, or endowment funds that they sometimes had a hard time dispersing because students were not applying for them. So I think the lesson there is that a little networking may help.

You may be surprised about whether or not you qualify for aid, but I trust you've done your homework. At the end of the day, having had experience in this from two sides (student, university employee), I'd have to say it seems like financing one's education through loans is pretty much the normal route for those of us who, although not rich by any stretch, are living relatively comfortably. The up side is that your daughter will graduate, get a job and pay off her loans relatively easily. It's a benefit of being young, bright and gainfully employed.

Good luck.