Most families find it challenging to jump in and learn the college process, but we have John Hupalo here today to share all his great resources to make this simple! After his personal and professional experience with the issue of college financing and planning, John recognized that there were not too many resources available. He and his partner decided, “There has got to be a better way to help families plan and pay for college.” So InviteEducation.com was founded.
Questions Answered Today:
How can InviteEducation.com help me?
Hupalo set out with his partner to create some simplified steps for both planning and financing college. Each family and situation is unique, but the purchase decisions and shopping for college are exactly the same as shopping for a car.
InviteEducation.com is set up to assist with 3 very specific points:
- You might have more than one child, so you will need grade specific guidance for each child.
- Finding that just right college. You have to figure out if your student can get in AND if you can afford it. Don’t buy now, and pay later!
- Interact with your student to make sure they are taking care of what they need to do and you are managing what you also should be doing.
Students can go onto the site as well to get tons of fantastic resources and clear information.
“When parents see there is an actual process involved, and they don’t have to worry about it all at once, it makes it a little bit easier,” notes Hupalo.
What should I know about scholarships?
“I believe there is an affordable school for every student and every family,” shares Hupalo. You know how much you have saved by junior or senior year, and now you have to find the free money.
Beware when schools give you federal loans, because you have to repay that, and also work study, because you have to earn that.
Grants are usually need-based aid given through filing the FAFSA.
Merit-based aid is usually from the school itself or you can get scholarships from third parties. Check out Petersons.com for their scholarship search engine. It is also linked to InviteEducation to help you find and apply for free money.
Hupalo cautions, “If you are awarded a third party scholarship and you are getting need-based aid, the school will reduce that amount of grant aid by the amount of that third party scholarship.” Go talk to your financial aid officer at your college because they can help you get creative to possibly keep it all.
Put your general gross income into the engine at InviteEducation to find out how much a particular school awarded to those with similar finances.
Do you have any advice for parents?
According to Hupalo:
It is really important to save some kind of money towards college. If your child is young, you are so much better off saving just a little bit now (such as with the 529 college savings program). InviteEducation has a calculator to show you the cost of delaying and how much more you will have to contribute to reach your goal.
- Most students take more than 4 years to graduate, so if your child is in high school already it isn’t too late.
- “Saving a dollar for college today is better than borrowing one tomorrow,” suggests Hupalo.
Take a breath! Just like potty-training, you never think it will happen, but it comes!
- Almost all students borrow the appropriate amount of money and come out of college in a career where they can pay that back without a problem.
Beware of how much time it will take to get this done.
- Pay attention along the way! Starts looking at ideas and visit the website during 9th grade.
- Time is also dependent on how involved parents will be and how motivated the student is.
- It doesn’t hurt to start early and always watch out for deadlines.
“There is no mystery to this,” says Hupalo, “You just need to be aware of it.”
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- Podcast Episode Index of all our shows!
- Brad’s Core Ideas
- Use code: 3Free
- Mr. Hupalo’s Book “Plan and Finance Your Family’s College Dreams: A Parent’s Step-By-Step Guide from Pre-K to Senior Year”
- InviteEducation YouTube Channel
Core Area #5 Extra-Curricular Activities
These are critical to some families to getting to where you want to go, but don’t matter at all for others.
Understand what you are doing for extra curriculars and if it is appropriate for where you want to go.
Some higher end schools require a more competitive level of extra-curricular activities, such as not just being on the football team, but being the captain on a champion football team.
These will also be helpful for scholarships.
If you have above average grades/test scores, then these probably won’t be as helpful. On the flipside, if you have lower grades/test scores, then these could make the difference and get you the benefit of doubt.
Episode 72: Science Competitions and Robotics Scholarships
Optional Area- College Fairs
Great for when you are just starting out to get some basic information from a lot of different possible colleges.
These are usually provided by NACAC (National Association of College and Admissions Counselors) or other organizations at the state and local level.
Episode 90: The Untapped Gold Mine of College Fairs
If there is a college fair in your area, or within driving distance, get that on your calendar! Get on the internet and search college fairs to find out when and where they are.
Fairs are additionally helpful when you have narrowed it down to the last few colleges you might want to pursue because there are representatives right there to answer your questions and give you more information.
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