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3 Smart People Discuss Effective Ways To Raise Money For College

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money-for-college3 Smart People Discuss Effective Ways To Raise Money For College

Have you been thinking about how to cover the costs for college for yourself or your kids? You are not alone. Seeking effective ways to raise money for college presents its challenges, but it is not impossible. It’s work!

I found 3 smart people to give their insights on effective ways to raise money for college and their comments may surprise you.

Two of these smart people actually work with college bound kids to help them get into colleges and universities, everything from junior colleges to Ivy League schools.

The third person was a single parent who has two kids to put through college and in less than 2 years, she’ll be answering the call. We talked about how she’s preparing.

Traditional Thinking

As the number of college age kids grows each year and college tuition continues to get higher, some say that funding that cost has become more difficult and parents must become more creative than ever. Others believe that traditional methods of saving, for those with the income, will take care of things.

There are others who know that drawing from traditional means must be supplemented by adding funds from a parent’s retirement account, obtaining local or federal grants, and adding a work-study program, all without incurring debt.

Some attend college funded 100% by student loans and leave with a mountain of debt being paid off over decades.

Some college graduates continue to pay their student loan debt into retirement years.

Why does it matter?

Getting a college education has always been a serious matter, and for most, the seriousness has been due to the costs and the value of a college education that had been instilled in youngsters about its benefits: i.e., higher paying jobs, more options in the job market, and more fulfilment in the workplace. This has even been the thinking promoted by those providing student loans, helping them become so widely accepted and easier to obtain.

Even when youngsters cannot immediately attend college after high school, work for a few years to get themselves established with an income, they go back to college part-time, or in a way that becomes more affordable in time and money. Many feel that these people make the best students with a higher degree of commitment to the task of getting an education and the majority go on to be high-level contributors to society.

Don’t misunderstand, many who attend college in the traditional manner, 4 years and right out of high school, understand there’s also value in the experience, and in the connections that you can make that will last a lifetime. Those relationships often bring an element of connection in business.

The Better Life

Expert, Antoinette Battiste of Educational Pathways, reflects on times when she was solely focused on helping underprivileged kids.  She says the key was instilling the philosophy of college being a way to a better life, and grades, activities and social adaptations were needed of the highest caliber to apply for the desired colleges.  Yet “there were difficulties in helping these kids who had no means to raise money outside of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and student loans.” There was always the concern that at some point, funding may not be available that would influence whether or not a student could continue to pursue a college education.

Now Antoinette works with parents and kids who attend private high schools. While the work still entails presentation, communication and adaptability of kids to the college environment, Antoinette noted that the strategy for funding remains a huge element in how she helps families.

Tech Oriented Generation

Marcia Hancock, the Job Search Advisor, helps her kids prepare for college by helping them with their writing skills, while she helps them with their college entrance requirements and their strategy around funding. She works mainly with kids in the tech world and says, “While they may have the right grades for entry, they require more work in the area of communication, presentation, and knowing their accomplishments.”

Marcia goes on to say, “these kids have parents paying a lot to coaches and counselors so they know the right kinds of marketing materials for presentation with college applications.”

The Often Forgotten

I reached out to a parent, divorced and whose ex has since passed away, is looking at two kids who would like to go to college, but may not be able to. At least, not the traditional way. While both kids may be eligible for scholarships, they are relying on the resources provided by school counselors and have adopted the whole ‘getting into college’ experience as a family project.

This Mom doesn’t have a college education, yet she has taken it upon herself to do the research online and have her kids to assist. As a team, they ask and answer the questions about where to search, crafting what to say, and all three have been asking around about where to find scholarships, grants, and more to satisfy a funding strategy like the tips on FastWeb.com.

Funding Quandaries Leading to Funding Options and Opportunities

When I began talking about raising money for college, I got the expected answers, but I got more. Here’s a list of what funding options and opportunities came out of discussing ways to raise money for college:

  • College savings that parents were able to contribute to for years to cover costs
  • Borrowing from a parent’s retirement savings to add to other savings
  • Scholarships provided by the school
  • Scholarships provided by outside organizations who support aiding the college bound
  • Grants  (local, city, state or federal)
  • Work-Study Programs
  • Vocational and trade schools (some even pay students to attend)
  • Student loans (a huge debt factor that can follow a student decades beyond graduation)
  • Summer Scholarship Programs
  • Internships (require applying and are being continually withdrawn due to labor law issues)
  • Fellowships (usually provided at the graduate level)
  • Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives (where small business owners contribute to an individual student’s education where previously most funded a school’s scholarship program)

As parents and students continue to find ways to raise money for college, it is my opinion that small business initiatives will become more visible as an option. However one pursues raising money for college, it requires effort and it’s well worth it.

Writer’s Bio:  V. Lynn Hawkins is a small business strategist, co-author of Woman Entrepreneur Extraordinaire and founder of the P3 Academy of Social Entrepreneurship, and host of the weekly BIZ Info Zone WebTV Show hosted in Google Hangouts on Air.


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