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NewChapter Ministries

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The College Selection & Application Process

Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

My son graduated last month from college. He's pictured above. I'm so proud of him! Praise the Lord for his faithfulness!  I can remember 4 years ago as he was moving into the dorms just like it was yesterday. I look back on the journey and realize all the hard work it took to pull this off. I’m blessed with a pretty good young man, grades were good, and he is goal oriented. Raised in the single-parent home, he graduated early a semester from high school, attended our local community college, and went off to college.

 

I speak to many parents these days who feel overwhelmed with preparing their children for college. The application process seems so cumbersome. There were so many steps from deciding on a college, the admission process, selecting classes, and preparing to move into the dorms.

 

This blog entry is dedicated to all the parents that are looking at send their children to college in the next couple of years and find themselves overwhelmed with the process and financial outlook.

 

The college selection & preparation process:

 

1) During your child’s junior year in high school, have them take the ACT or SAT.

 

2) Narrow down 3-5 schools of interests (see my blog entry – Choosing the Right College)

 

3) Visit the colleges- School are happy to give tours. Many schools have Open Houses.

 

4) Apply top 3-college choice- Fall of H.S. Senior yr. Application fees range from $25-50 each.

 

5) Complete the FAFSA form – completed this online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov January of the H.S. Senior yr. There is no charge for this form. It is free. You will need your W-2s and completed tax return to complete this form. There will be a section on the form where you will be asked to enter your school choices. Within a few days, you and the schools of choice will receive the results on the form. This form has many purposes. It helps illustrate your family need, family contribution and is a springboard for administration of free monies from the Federal and State Pell Grant programs. Please don’t assume you don’t qualify. Fill it out anyway.

 

6) Wait for College acceptance letters & their Financial Aid Award letters. For my family, the financial aid award letter was key. We were looking for what college could give the most financial aid and less out of pocket cost for us. We were blessing to have most of tuition & dorm paid.

 

7) Pay Admission Deposit– once you’ve made your choice on the right college, the college will require an admission deposit. This normally around $ 200. It is non-refundable, but usually applied toward tuition. Schools deadline for the Admission deposit is normally in the spring your child’s H.S. Senior year.

 

8) Apply for Financial Aid- Also in the spring of H. S. Senior yr., college have their own deadline for you to complete the college’s own forms for financial aid. First to complete the forms and any requested documentation, receive the most financial assistance possible.

 

9) Apply for University Housing- during this same spring on H.S. Senior yr., a housing deposit is required. Normally, it about $500 and is refundable if met by a certain deadline. This deposits guarantees a housing spot in the dorms, which goes very quickly. Please note that you child will need a meal plan, which is a separate cost.

 

10) Confirm your placement in English and math courses. – New student must take a placement test for English & Math.

 

11) Meet with your Academic Advisor and Register for classes

 

12) Attend New Student Orientation.

 

13) Obtain a School ID Card. – This card can be used for ID, washing clothes, the library, Computer lab, meals, etc.

 

14) Final School Transcripts. - Send final high transcripts to college.

 


Financing a College Education

Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)


Now your student loans are in good standing and consolidate, how do you finance going back to school?

 

1) Complete a FAFSA form at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

 

2) Apply for scholarships at my school of choice. Colleges will give you monies based on grades, major, being a 1st yr student, etc.

 

3) Apply for outside scholarships – there are several great websites out there. Many scholarships are given for, grades, returning to school, ethnicity, affiliation, interests, etc. here are some great sties.

 

www.fastweb.com

 

www.schoolsoup.com

 

www.zinch.com

 

4) Most colleges also have payment plans.

 

Choosing the Right College for You

Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

How to choose the "right" college? This is a great question and the answer varies with individual. But here are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Size - large university or smaller college

2) Class size – large auditorium or small classrooms

3) Private/ public

4) Cost

5) Classroom/ online

6) Urban/ college town/ rural

7) Diversity

Reputation

9) Teaching or Research College

When choosing a college for myself, we looked at reputation, class size, diversity, & whether it fit our personality. For my son, in particular, he started out in a private urban college because of its reputation, family members had attended, and its class sizes. But, after his first year, I could not justify the strain of the cost of the tuition on this single-parent household. I’ve learned to be very practical when it comes to college.

We have all type of emotions and dreams when choosing a college. But, we must remember the bottom line is to get that piece of paper, the diploma, as efficiently as possible. This is why my family turned to state colleges. My son transferred to a state college in his sophomore year. The cost of the tuition was much lower and the quality of the education did not suffer. His entire tuition was paid by school financial aid. However, we were responsible for some of his dorm expense. I am proud to say that my son has graduated from college with his diploma earlier this month with very little school debt because of our decision to switch. He is now applying to graduate schools.

 

I am confident with prayer and wisdom packed decision making, you will make a great choice too!

 

Roadblocks: Returning Back to School with Student loans

Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It's summer. So, it's the perfect time to stop putting off going back to college and completing your degree. Here's some practical steps you can take THIS summer to prepare yourself to enter class this fall.


A few years back, frustrated with my life, I decide to start over. It was 2008, the recession here and I knew that I needed more to take care of my family.


The first thing I decided was to go back to school to get my degree. I had been putting off going back to school for years. Oh, I had all kinds of reasons not to. I talked myself out of going back for years. I even convinced myself that I didn't need a degree. Here were my "but I can't" list:


• The cost of going back

• Defaulted student loans

• I didn’t want to be in the classroom as old as I was

• I thought I didn’t have the time.


But, I got tired of being passed over for promotions in Corporate America that I was qualified to do just because I didn’t have degree. So, how do you go back to school if your student loans are in default? My recommendation is to avoid scams and go straight to the source. The government has an excellent program. The U. S. Department of Education‘s William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. They will consolidate all your loans (even the defaulted ones) and set up a payment based on your income. (Payments are not required until 6 months AFTER you graduate).

 

1. Here’s the website http /www.dl.ed.gov/ . Find the loan consolidation link- which will lead you to https /loanconsolidation.ed.gov/AppEntry/apply-online/appindex. Start the process.

2. Once you have done this, you will now be cleared to apply for school financial aid via https /fafsa.ed.gov/

3. Then you can apply to your school of choice from admissions.


I'm so excited for your NewChapter in returning back to school! Remember, you are MORE THAN a conqueror through Him who loves us! (Rom 8:37). I’m praying for your success!

 

By the way, I persevered and graduated with my Bachelors just 2 years later. I'm now entering my last year of my Master's program. Come join me!