“If a 6-year-old can win a major scholarship, then why do we wait so late to get started? There is no benefit to waiting!” ~ College Common Sense
Have you ever thought of what life would be like with NO STUDENT DEBT? Do you dream of having your child/ren graduate from college DEBT FREE! I do! After using College Common Sense for the past few weeks now I know it’s possible! This program demystified the college application process and helps me approach it with a plan!
Denise Ames’ College Common Sense program empowers parents and, more importantly, students to understand and take command of the journey of preparing for and applying for college and paying for it!
Denise is a financial aid consultant in a University in Texas. She has more than 10 years experience helping thousands of students and their families handle what can be an overwhelming experience. She developed College Common Sense because she wanted to reach and educate more students!
“Going to College and Paying for it DVD and Workbook” is available in DVD & workbook format for $50 and $5 for shipping & handling. For $25 you can instead register “Going to College and Paying for It Online Video and Workbook” for a one-year online membership and have unlimited access to the videos and PDF workbook material. Either way, it’s a small investment to make for something that will help you SAVE THOUSANDS OF $$$ IF NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF $$$ long-term!
Topics in the videos include:
- The Big Picture – understand COA (cost of attendance) and financial aid options. The file includes exercises and things to consider for college visits (before, during and after).
- How Financial Aid Works – includes a worksheet for calculating college expenses and loan options available (federal & private) and detailed explanation of FAFSA, what it is and what to do.
- All About the Free Money – discusses scholarships and grants. Best of all she provides several links of databases to help you find the ones you would qualify for! You would search these using keywords like: homeschooler, boy scout, sports, music, etc. There are more than 40 million grants available!!
- The System That Works – In this video Denise provides a system for the student to use for the years/months before going to college. This system helps the child keep all the information organized and better maximize the plan as it develops. Denise suggests keeping an “All About Me” 3-ring binder with 14 dividers. One divider for each month, one for scholarships submitted and one for those won! She recommends applying for one scholarship a month until the child gets to high school. In high school the student is to apply for one scholarship a week. In this system she also suggests tips to maximize the essays used for scholarship applications!
- You In the Process – There are questions for them to further think about personal goals, direction and the overall process.
- Pull It All Together – Summarizes the program and points out things to focus on!
We spent a lot of time using the weekly lessons included in the free newsletter. These are a great complement to an already great program. It includes lessons/activities for the students and is divided up by grades (elementary, middle and high school).
These are a great addition to any homeschool curriculum and will make a child’s education more “college-prep”! Who better to suggest these lessons than a person with Denise’s background and experience!!
The program is for students in elementary – high school. Though I found it helpful and will continue to use it, families of high school students will find it most helpful! For younger children I would absolutely recommend the free newsletter (enter your email to start receiving yours!).
HOW WE USED IT
I watched the first video, “The Big Picture”, with my oldest son (9) who was inspired, seeing what he had to look forward to. He was able to understand it and had great questions! The rest of the videos get into the details of the process, so I watched these by myself.
I did involve my 9-year-old in working on his “About Me” binder. Though I did most of the searching of scholarships for us to consider, we did talk about them. We also discussed possible career plans, based on his interests now.
We have known for a few years my 8-year-olds son’s love of animals. In the time we have been using the program we were able to visit a veterinarian and learn more about the career and how to plan for it.
Because of College Common Sense my boys had great questions to ask the vet! He explained to my two sons (8 and 9-years-old) how competitive the field is and the importance of getting relevant work in high school! He even offered to give them the opportunity to shadow him when they get to 10 or 11th grade! A bit soon, but still exciting!
He also discussed with them the high cost of veterinarian schools. This activity helped me and my boys see, as Denise says, that it is not to early for my boys to start exploring career paths and talking to people in the field!
Many students (especially Hispanics and other students of color ) delay or do not go to college because of lack of money. As a first generation college graduate there is so much help I could have used in the process of preparing, searching for and applying to college. Lack of information makes it certain that I did not take advantage of “free money” (scholarships) that may have been available to help fund my education.
After using College Common Sense I feel a lot more equipped to help my children prepare for and go through this process. I know now that it is not to early to start and that what looks like an overwhelming puzzle, can be manageable.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.