January 30, 2014
It's the time of year to complete FAFSA! (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid) We have included a few guidelines to keep in mind:
1. The FAFSA must be completed every year. If you are already a student in college don't forget to complete the form for the upcoming year.
2. You don't have to wait until you file your taxes to complete FAFSA. It is wise to complete FAFSA as early as possible as financial awards are often given on a first come first serve basis. Use last year's tax return to complete the form. You can always make corrections at a later date if needed.
3. Every student preparing for college should complete the FAFSA regardless of their family's income level. Don't make the mistake of thinking your family's income level is too high. Financial aid can be awarded based on many different factors including number of children in college. Also, in many cases colleges will not give merit based awards unless the student has completed the FAFSA.
4. Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is the FAFSA is always free to complete. If you find yourself at a website asking for money in order to complete the form then you are not at the official FAFSA website.
Completing the FAFSA is an important step in your journey to college. Having problems completing FAFSA? Are you still not sure where to begin? We offer a one-on-one consulting session at no cost to you. Contact us today.
Hannah, Director of Student Services
November 22, 2013
Are you planning to use your home equity line of credit (HELOC) as a source of cash to cover out-of-pocket expenses for your child's college education? Are you re-financing a mortgage and taking cash out of your equity for those expenses? Before you spend a dollar of that money, please read our article under "Parents" on this website. The IRS has restrictions on such uses. read more
November 18, 2013
Are the things you "know" about college admissions and financial aid true and accurate?
I referee soccer -- many are aware of that. That sometimes puts me on the touchline (sideline for the non-soccer people) where parents, grandparents and others sit to watch and enjoy the match. The close proximity allows me to catch bits and pieces of conversations. It is amazing how much inaccurate information people share with each other about college admissions and financial aid.
It is painful to hear. I want to stop, turn around and offer my workshop on the spot. Can't do that at a soccer match.
Is your student in 11th grade, or younger? Have you attended my workshop ever, or has it been more than a year? Please reach out to me. It will be my pleasure to bring you up-to-date with accurate information. read more
November 11, 2013
Every day people ask me something along the lines of, "What kind of work do you do?" Well, for all of you who have not had the benefit of a personal meeting with me, here's the link: http://youtu.be/LiJGkT6KT-g
If you like what you see, let's talk so I can help you apply the truth to your financial success plan. And, please, share the link with your friends and family. read more
November 6, 2013
Don't overlook dad or mom!
A "pink slip" comes as a shock! It has happened to me. It is never a good time to get the formal notice your job has been eliminated.
Although at Succeed Where It Counts we work primarily with parents to economize on of the costs of sending a child to college, we are aware that sometimes a parent is also lfacing the need to re-engineer the career track. The link at the top of this page takes you to an article of relevance to that topic.
Thanks to my friend Chris Dickson at Golden Career Strategies, Mallard Creek Road, CHarlotte, for the heads up. read more
November 5, 2013
Google's login page today displays their logo adapted to honor Raymond Loewy. Loewy is one of those persons whose influence even today is profound, yet little known. Check out his website: http://www.raymondloewy.com
There you will find this: "Loewy lived by his own famous MAYA principle - Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. He believed that, 'The adult public's taste is not necessarily ready to accept the logical solutions to their requirements if the solution implies too vast a departure from what they have been conditioned into accepting as the norm.'"
That parallels the defining question I ask everyone, "If what you think is true turned out not to be when would you want to know?" How to pay for college, your house, your cars; or how to save for your future with the goal of maintaining your present lifestyle are the financial solutions everyone wants. Yet, sometimes even when presented with a superior outcome, people find it hard to accept the numbers staring them in the face.
In honor of Raymond Loewy, the designer of the Coca Cola bottle, I ask you, "If what you think is true about your financial plan for college expenses and retirement turned out not to be true, when would you want to know?" read more
November 4, 2013
Fifty-eight days . . . yes, 58! January 1 is that close. FAFSA opens for applications for the 2014-2015 academic year January 1 .
Financial aid is mostly distributed on a "first come, first served" basis. Our recommendation is that every family complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon after January 1 as is practical.
True, you will not have your taxes done by then. Does not matter. Use your 2012 return or your best guess about what 2013 will look like. But get it done.
Elsewhere on this website under "Student" there is more information. Alongside of that are three more articles you will want to read.
Reach out to us for help with FAFSA, retirement questions and any other college and financial concerns you have. We get it -- we're parents, too! read more
November 1, 2013
Was privileged to have lunch today with Jeffrey Bowe, a professor with Catawba College (Salisbury, NC). He was telling me about a cooperative program run with Central Piedmont Community College. Through the program a student may earn a 2 year, Associate Degree at CPCC, and transfer to Catawba College to finish the bachelor's degree. Full credit will be given for all of the hours earned at CPCC. Making it even more convenient, the Catawba classes are taught on the CPCC campuses. Very affordable, and very convenient. This is an especially viable option for any student who must work in order to afford college. read more
October 22, 2013
http://www.questbridge.org assists low-income students of proven academic achievement to afford a college education.
Don't rule yourself out. Check it out and see what QuestBridge may be able to do for you.
If your high school has not already notified students about QUestBridge it would be nice of you to let your Guidance Counselors know (be sure to tell them who told you -- Thanks!) read more
October 16, 2013
A recent newspaper article about a college student facing a year-long delay in graduation due to a needed class being unavailable re-opens the conversation I have with every family regarding our process for college selection.
The student in the news article needs a class for her degree that is offered only once per year (Fall semester). Only two sections are offered by the one professor qualified to teach an advanced, technical class. By the time the young woman got to registration, both sections were full.
Her choices next Fall will be to take just the class she needs and work part-time; or take additional classes not required while enrolled in the one she must have. Either way, entrance into her career will be postponed by perhaps as much as six months.
We advise and coach students into identifying a career path, first. Yes, it may not end up being the one they eventually pursue. Nevertheless, having a career track in mind leads seamlessly to a proposed "Major." Identifying those two helps significantly when trying to decide to which colleges a student should apply for admission.
A student prepared in that manner can, from day one, identify required classes and (with the help of an academic advisor) get those course requirements satisfied as early as possible. read more