Its so hot and gonna get hotter and more humid as the week progresses!!!

I try to get my walk in at break as early as I can!


Theres a little bit of shade but I never go without my umbrella!



So did I tell you I went to a college planner just to check it out? Uh huh, yep! Guess how much that service costs? The do all the leg work to get your kid into college…. 4700.00!


Not in this lifetime! That service is for the top 1%!

Not pathetic underpaid, under appreciated ol’ me!

Cray cray!



10 thoughts on “Hot!

  1. Chances are you can get your daughter into a college right in your town. If she knows what she wants to do and it is offered there, you can save lots having her stay at home. Later if there is a higher degree involved she can go away to another school. But it will save money to keep her in town for her first degree.

  2. oh gosh- don’t pay for a college planner! These are my suggestions. What grade is she in? Does your school district offer a program where she can take classes at the local community college and earn both high school and college credits? DO IT! my DD did this for Junior and Senior years and got her first 2 years of college out of the way at the same time she graduated high school. SAVED probably $35,000 or more (based on 4 year state university costs for 2 years). We just had to pay a small quarterly fee of like $100 and her books.

    If she can’t do that, then go to a community college the first 2 years and live at home. Much cheaper than a university, especially for all those core classes and most don’t know what they want to major in yet anyway. A part time job will help pay for it.

    The year before apply for the FAFSA as early as possible. This will be sent to the college/university’s she lists and they will determine if she is eligible for any money. Don’t rule out private colleges – they often have lots more money available to help with financial aid, than the state universities do, bringing the cost down to state levels. I have a friend who used to be a financial aid director at a state college and she gave me lots of help and info, when I was trying to help DS’s girlfriend figure out how she was going to pay for collge.. Apply for that FAFSA as early as you can (like Jan 1st) because the schools are given so much money each year to dole out as financial aid and once it’s gone for the year, it’s gone. It’s basically first come, first served.

    of course, as a last result there are student loans available and also something called “Parent Plus loans”, that the parent takes out. Stafford loans (for students) are limited in amount and the rest can be financed by the parent with a Parent Plus loan. (often a lower interest rate than getting a private loan on your own)

    we were lucky in that my parents set aside money for kids college, but if she had had to go the loan route I would have tried to minimize it as much as possible, if not completely. First would have been community college, along with working while going to school. Then I would have recommended to her to get a full time job for a company that does tuition reimbursement and work and go to school part time and let the company pay for it (that is how I got my degree).

  3. Schools here offer classes at the high school level that give you college credit at no extra cost while the child is Junior or Senior. Might want to see if her school offers that. Also get tutor for ACT and take more than once — better score means more scholarships. Last — apply for scholarships (treat it like a full time job).

    • I am looking into inexpensive Test prep places! Lots of them but so expensive! Will chech high school to see what they offer too! So scary!!!! Thank you and nice to see u Vesta!!!!

  4. I have a *lot* of opinions on this issue, mostly because I have some, er, institutional knowledge of how the whole thing works. Also, my parents were happy to (and able to) pay for college, but they didn’t see the need to pay for SAT tutors, college counselors, etc. (They didn’t pay for people to teach me the SAT, but I got paid to teach test prep – everything from the SAT to the GMAT and LSAT – for many years.)

    First thing: SATs and ACTs. The benefit of test prep is that they spoon-feed you, in a short amount of time, all of the information that you can learn on your own (and all the vocabulary you can learn) in a longer amount of time. Your daughter needs to start NOW. The library will have Kaplan and Princeton Review books; check out both. They have different approaches to the material, and students ‘click’ with one better than the other. Have your daughter peruse both and decide which she likes. She should take practice tests, practice sections, and then *go over her wrong answers* (and the ones she is not sure of) in great detail.

    The benefit of an SAT tutor or teacher is that the teacher can deconstruct where she is going wrong. The cheap way to do it is to spend a lot of time figuring it out for herself. (My advice: learn the ‘language’ of the SAT. They use words in a very specific way that are not always how everyone else thinks of them.) But she should go through the wrong answers as carefully as possible, learning not just how to get that particular question right, but how to get similar questions right.

    On the verbal reading passages, a highlighter will be her friend. She’s not allowed it on the actual exam, but it should be used when evaluating the *answer choices.* Some words end up being very important (e.g. “always,” “never,” “must be”) and sometimes, the back half of the answer is where the wrong part is hidden. Learning to tear apart the answer choices really improves your score.

    From now until she takes the SAT, have her circle every single word that she does not know; write it down in a notebook; look it up in the dictionary; write the definition next to it; and read it back into a sentence. She reads a book for high school English and doesn’t know a word – into the notebook it goes with a page number. She will benefit even more if she also looks up the origin of the words.

  5. As for college admissions coaching: they don’t offer the services you are looking for.

    That type of coaching is for people who are looking to push their kid into a highly elite university – and, failing that, into another selective, prestigious school. Your goal (as I understand it) is to get your daughter to for for something very close to “free.”

    The same reach/match/safety stuff still applies. Let me save you $4,700: a safety is not only a school that your daughter can get into; it is also a school that is affordable for your family. Perhaps the “safety” is simply to take advantage of the California system: community college for two years (with some work), then transfer to a UC or a Cal State. (Cal State Northridge is about $3,000 a semester – very affordable.)

    Now, do NOT look at the sticker prices of schools. First, use a financial aid calculator to determine your EFC (estimated family contribution). Note that this includes both parents, even if they are divorced, even if one is not a custodial parent. Your EFC will likely be quite low, as you don’t have a million dollars worth of home equity and a huge salary.

    Schools handle your financial aid award in a couple of different ways:
    *Some of the super-selective schools are need blind (i.e. admit the kids they want, regardless of ability to pay, and meet all need).
    *Many other schools with large endowments are not quite need-blind, but will admit about 95% of the class regardless of ability to pay, will meet full demonstrated need for those students, and will admit the rest of the class based on ability to pay
    *Many schools “gap” – they admit students who need financial aid to attend, but they do not provide enough grants and aid to meet the family’s financial need. Many of these schools will meet full need for students whom they want (academic superstars and athletes), but will not meet the full need for less-qualified students.
    *And finally, some schools will just plain reject kids who can’t pay.

    Your daughter’s “hook” is golf. DIII schools don’t give out athletic scholarships, but can give out academic merit or need-based scholarships. If she’s a serious recruit, you can talk about the aid package.

    Counterintuitively, your search for financial aid will take you to the wealthiest schools with the highest sticker prices: they are the ones who charge the wealthy kids through the nose and give amazing aid to needy students. Like, the total cost (including room, board, fees, and books) is down to a few thousand a year, with a cushy on-campus work-study job to earn some extra money.

    • Omg Bridget thank you so much! Tonight I have been checking out state colleges. Cheaper but you are onto something, privates do have more money. There’s so much to learn and do, I need to figure out a good spreadsheet to keep it organized!!!

      You gave me so much to think about!!!! Thank you thank you!!!!

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