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Important FAFSA Facts for Homeschoolers

Important FAFSA Facts for Homeschoolers
Each year, the government doles out 150 billion dollars in education grants. Almost everyone can get some kind of aid, whether it's in the form of grants, loans, or work-study, whether it's from the government or from schools. All of this is determin...
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So You Have to Fill Out the FAFSA...Again?

So You Have to Fill Out the FAFSA...Again?
Yep. It's October. And, for anyone with children in college that means filling out the FAFSA every year. Whether you, the parent, or the student does it, the closer to the beginning of October you do it, the better.  If you haven't filled out th...
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Lee Binz
Dear Christy, Yes. The FAFSA application form is only sent to each school you list. So you would want to list the colleges that ... Read More
Monday, 23 September 2019 21:44
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Encouraging Girls in Math and Science

Encouraging Girls in Math and Science
There are more girls going to college than there are boys.  Girls are in the majority, so they are less likely to receive admission and financial aid.....  except in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  In those areas, girls are still in the minority.   You can encourage your young women to pursue a college major in STEM, and it might improve their chances of admission and financial aid.  One of my clients recommended Expanding Your Horizons conferences for girls.

Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics™ conferences for girls

Their mission is to encourage young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Through Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Network programs, they provide STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle and high school girls. Currently Expanding Your Horizons conferences are held in 31 states and in Europe and Asia.

Locate a conference in your area

When you are applying for colleges, you will need a great homeschool transcript.  The good news is you can “do-it-yourself” and save thousands.  Discover the Total Transcript Solution.
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Unexpected Benefits of the PSAT

Unexpected Benefits of the PSAT
There are lots of benefits of taking the PSAT; practicing for an important test, receiving financial aid for college.  Last week I found an unexpected benefit!  When children see a public school environment, it can have surprisingly positive consequences!  This letter from Sheri explains what her son learned in school the day he took the PSAT.

What a Difference a Day Makes!
Hi Lee,
I thought you might enjoy hearing about my son's day (well, really just a morning) at the local high school taking the PSAT. It is quite funny how much difference a day can make.

We HAVE had a slow start to this year with moving followed by inundations of bugs, water damage, replacing all sorts of unexpected pieces and parts of our home, fatigue, etc. These have all hit us hard. It was getting very discouraging to think of what we were (and were not) accomplishing in our schooling. But the Lord has been good to encourage me through many and sundry ways, one of which was my son's day at our local public high school.

He was put in the classroom of a very nice teacher whose wife schools their children at home. This was a very kind consideration by the school counselor, I appreciated it. The things he noticed about the classroom were the disobedience and disrespect the kids had for the teacher's word. He said, "no talking" yet they talked. He said, "no computers", yet they got on the computers and played games. I got the biggest belly laugh out of this, because these are the EXACT things he does at home! So, he came to the conclusion that it would be extremely difficult for a teacher to actually teach these kids anything (oh really?). He told me today that he thought the way to teach, really teach, and get kids to retain was to have the information make a large and personal impact on them. Wow.

I wanted to tell you also, how much I appreciated your well timed encouragement today. In school we have not done as well as I would have hoped. I have failed in many ways. But, I do need to get back up again, dust myself off (and get my husband's table saw out of the school room) and get to work. I truly appreciate you!!

Lotsa love,

Her conclusion, about getting back up and dusting herself off, reminds me so much of the TobyMac song "Get Back Up Again."

"We lose our way, we get back up again It’s never too late to get back up again And one day you gonna’ shine again You may be knocked down, but not out forever."

I hope you aren't having a bad day.  If you are having a bad day, remember that it could be worse, and you still have the opportunity to get back up again.  You may be knocked down, but you're not out forever.

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Scholarships: Let Your Needs Be Known

Scholarships: Let Your Needs Be Known
Here is a brief follow-up note I sent to Ann after she was told her son had won a $14,000/year scholarship from his first choice school.  I thought my advice might help someone else as well.

Just fyi, the financial aid you hear about at this moment is usually just a portion of the final amount.  Other amounts will be trickling in later.  This does not take into account your financial "need" - and the government may say you have a need even if your income is up to $150,000.  It doesn't not take into account any special scholarships that the school may have.  It doesn't take into account engineering scholarships, and private companies have been pouring a lot of money into college scholarships for engineering recently.  I'm expecting that large remaining amount to get smaller - but they may keep you waiting until May before you finally know the REAL amount you will pay.

Call the admission, and say, "We are so excited with our son's acceptance, and with his scholarship.  We will not be able to attend without further financial aid.  Do you have any other scholarships available, so that we can attend your school?  We applied to your school first, because it is Nate's first choice, and we're worried we can't afford it and will have to disappoint our son."

That will tell them that they are his #1 school, that they will be able to retain him into sophomore year, and that you need more money.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, you know.  If you don't tell them you need more money, they won't know you need more money.  Leave it all open-ended, without committing to anything, but make your needs politely known.

You're in GREAT shape for the first step in scholarships - it's still OCTOBER for goodness sake!  Woo Hoo!  Party!

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Will Saving Money for College Cost You?

Will Saving Money for College Cost You?

I saw this article about saving money from college, and it had some interesting tidbits. Here is the paragraph that caught my attention:

In 2007, according to the College Board, the average financial aid package totaled $9,500 covering 43% of tuition, fees, and room and board for one year at the average four-year college, public or private. This underscores the need for families to save in a dedicated college savings account to supplement the remaining costs. However, 60% of parents think that if they save too much toward their child's future education that it could negatively affect their child's chances of receiving financial aid. And that is just one myth about saving for college. Here are the other seven.

Let's look at this really closely for a moment. I have mentioned that rarely do people pay "sticker price" for a college. I love to read about how the AVERAGE parent saves 43% of the average college costs - in both public and private school! This article implies that we should therefore panic about the cost. I like to look at the bright side, though. On the bright side, college costs are not as astronomical as they appear on the brochures.

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