Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting a Jump on College Planning

I haven't given college planning a whole lot of thought even though my oldest, Jacob, is in ninth grade.  When given the opportunity to review the product, Going to College and Paying for It Online Video and Workbook from College Common Sense, I saw it as an opportunity to get a head start on planning for Jake's next step.  I was soon to find out that I'm a bit behind in the game.


This product was put together by a woman, Denise Ames, who has knowledge in this area and who wants to see students and families succeed in getting into college and finding the best financial aid that is available.  The "About Us" page on the website says it well:

"We have inside knowledge about the college admissions and financial aid process from being in the industry for the last 10 years. We have helped thousands of students and families through this process on a one-on-one basis and want to reach more people."

As Jake and I started watching the videos that are a part of this course and reading the PDF files that we were able to download, we learned quickly that we could have, and quite possibly should have, started this process years ago.  This has caused me to think very critically about where we are in the process and how we will handle the next three years of high school homeschooling.

The videos included in this program are entitled, "The Big Picture," "How Financial Aid Works," "All About the Free Money," "The System that Works," "You in the Process," and "Put it All Together."  Each video includes a PDF file, which I like because they are written mostly to the student.  This puts the ball in their court.  This makes them, hopefully, want to learn all they need to learn and do all they need to do in order to secure their future when it comes to higher learning.

PhotobucketThere are also email newsletters that can be sent to you which contain lesson plans each month.  The newsletters are free.  The only thing College Common Sense charges for is the $25 annual membership to view the PDF files and videos for a year.  You also have the option of ordering everything in the form of a workbook and DVDs for $50 (plus $5 shipping).  We have been using the online version and have not experienced any issues with it whatsoever.

This program isn't just for high school students, though.  Parents can begin thinking about college and scholarships with their kids who are elementary-school age.  The things I am learning now while trying to help Jake will definitely come in handy as my 13 year old enters high school in two years and in four years when my youngest enters high school.  Not just that, but there are scholarships available to even young children.  They are out there.  This program helps you find them.  Imagine knowing where to find scholarships for your 8 year old, to win them, and to have the money waiting for them to use once they enter college.  I am excited at the prospect.  I am also less nervous about the whole process now that I have had some help learning what needs done, where to find what I need, and how to obtain scholarships and grants, etc.

This has been one of the most useful products I have reviewed since I started with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

If you'd like to view other reviews about this product, you can go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

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