Lashawn thinks she’s got it worse than I think she really does. Almost to the point where she’s considering skipping college for a bit, but I think that’s a bad idea considering her setup.
I’ll be the first one of my family to graduate from high school, let alone go to college, so there is a lot of pressure.
None here, Lashawn — just a big fat double thumbs-up straight at you.
When it comes down to financial aid my family won’t be contributing in any way. Things have always been very hard for us financially. So I’ve been considering waiting until next year to start college so I can work, save, and maybe have a better shot at getting a scholarship.
Well, before even getting to the rest of your note, let me stop you and say that this is one of those very rare times in life where it’s actually good to be broke. If your family has very little money, you should be eligible for a lot of need-based financial aid, including the dandy Pell Grant and FSEOG award.
I’m not extremely picky about what college I go to, like I said I’ll be the first anyways.
Well, if money is tight and you’re not picky, my usual recommendation is to consider community college. It’s usually a very cheap option, and it gives you the chance to sample the introductory courses in a variety of fields of study — again, for very little cost.
I’ve been to six different high schools so it’s been difficult to keep my grades competitive. Right now I’m just trying to hold on to my B-average.
Hold on to it as tightly as you can! Lots of scholarships have cutoffs at 3.0, do whatever you’ve got to do in order to keep it.
It seems like everything is falling apart at the last minute. I haven’t filled out FAFSA because everyone said that I needed my mom’s tax return to do it. The problem is she never filed because she only made a few hundred dollars last year. Now I’m afraid it may be too late.
It’s not too late. You actually have until the end of June 2012 to fill out your FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year. The sooner the better, sure, but you’re nowhere near too late. In that timeframe, you should be able to use that information when you are efiling when tax time rolls around the following year.
Also, I made a 25 on the ACT but I was going to retake it to score higher to get in Columbia College that offer full tuition for students who make a 26 or higher. But the day of my test I wasn’t able to go because my Aunt died and her funeral was on the same day.
25 is a fine score, but sure, if you can get free college out of it, study up and buck for another point.
I wanted to get it switched to the next available date, but we can’t afford the $20 transfer fee.
Yes you can. Borrow it, panhandle for it, or outright steal it if you have to. If it means the difference between a free college education and a not-free college education, you can afford much more than $20. And, luckily, it’s just $20. Borrow it. Get it from somebody.
My sister said that she could get me a job working with her.
There ya go.
I’m starting to think that taking time off to work and save some money before starting school is my best option. I’m just really confused about what I should do.
Understood, and I’m glad you wrote, because it sounds to me like your instincts are taking you in the wrong direction. Although it may not seem like it, you’re in a pretty good spot.
You’ve got a B average, you’ve got an above-average ACT score, you’ve got lots of financial need, and you’re a minority. You, my friend, are poised to get some free money for college.
First item of business. Fill out the FAFSA. Like, RIGHT NOW. Do not wait any longer. The quicker you apply, the better access you’ll have to state money (federal will be there regardless).
Second item: Retake that ACT if you think you’ve got a shot at getting a better score. Every extra point you earn can make a giant difference in the amount of aid you’re offered.
Then, come back and let us know how it all goes. I really want to follow what happens to you (and so will the folks at home). Thanks!
— What do you think LaShawn should do? Go now, or work and save some money? Let us know in the comments below.