Decisions affecting college debt

Many ways of finding money for college

During our travels over the last 4 years, we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the talents of many street musicians. I always contribute a little to show my appreciation. But what goes through my mind is the real possibility that this young person could very well be paying off student loan debt. 

The average college student graduates with $30,000 in college debt.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Decisions made as a family as well as by the student are made LONG before college which either lead to school debt or freedom from debt. 

I agree that the sticker price of higher education is huge in many cases. The same state school I attended more than tripled over the 30 years between when I left and when my children began. 

As I was growing up, the conversation never began, ‘If you go to college’ it was always, ‘When you go to college.’ And all 4 of us kids graduated from either...

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I need ANOTHER email for scholarship applications??


I’m one of those parents that is very much involved in the scholarship search process. But whoever is doing the searching, parent or the teen, you’ll need to have a separate email for the sole purpose of searching for scholarships.

You WILL BE inundated DAILY to apply for scholarships, and it’s easier to delete what doesn’t apply to you, if they are not mixed in with your personal emails. You can decide if you want those emails to be downloaded daily to your your computer or if you will go online to review them each day.

I advise getting a free, unique, email from gmail to use for scholarship searches. It can be anything you want (exp: [email protected]…. where ABC is your teen’s Initials.) Sounds crazy but you will THANK ME later!

For more high school to college guidance sign up to receive email notifications when new info is posted!

Happy Scholarship Hunting!

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What's Your 'Why'?


I believe your child has the potential to achieve his dreams. I do things differently with that end result in mind, leaving nothing on the table. I do this by teaching parents the step by step system I used to get my kids into their 1st choice colleges with over $100,000 in scholarships.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why your do it!”-Simon Sinek.

The same is true for your teen with regard to his/her getting scholarships, getting into college, and getting a job. WHY do you want to go to that college? WHY are you the best candidate for that scholarship. WHY do you want that job? Certainly there’s a financial component. But as Simon describes in his TED talk, the money is the result, not the direct motivation. The true motivation is deeper than that. Otherwise, if it were all about the money the rate of success would be smaller.

Why do you volunteer at THAT charity? Why do you work for that store? Why did you choose those electives? The more you...

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Choosing Homeschool Teen Curriculum

Let your homeschooled high school student help choose curriculum for a particular subject. Whether you attend a homeschool convention together, go to a resale store, or ... order it online with a 30 day money back guarantee...
Narrow it down to two or three textbooks, then let your teen make the final selection. Vendors use different fonts and photos that will appeal to your student. So let them choose.
Having ownership in the decision, they are more willing to give it a fair chance.

My teens were given an opportunity to choose between Abeka and Bob Jones University Press for both Literature courses and History courses. Both vendor curriculums filled the purpose quite well. For high school maths and sciences I did the research and made the choice for them. And yes, I used different vendors throughout my homeschool from an early age. The only thing I encourage sticking with is high school math. Be sure your high school math curriculum will cover everything needed. Then try to...

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Take Entrance Exams as Early as 8th or 9th grade!


Most often the idea of taking college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT is not introduced until the spring of high school junior year. The theory behind waiting until that time says that (1) the student is unprepared for the content and (2) taking the exams at an earlier age causes undue stress and anxiety for the student. However, my experience is very different.

Clearly students are not expected to perform well when taking these exams prior to Junior year. But that's the point. Tell your teen, 'Don't stress. It doesn't count'. Taking it multiple times, 'cold' (with no preparation), allows the student to get used to the format of the exam as well as the learning to ignore typical test taking distractions. For example: pencil or foot tapping noises, sneezing or coughing, rain on a tin roof. They also learn what items to bring and how to handle the broken pencil point, or calculator battery dying, in a low stress environment.

I recommend taking the ACT (or...

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Attn: 8th & 9th Graders: Why you should take the PSAT in 9th & 10th grade!

PSAT/NMSQT: If you are in 8th or 9th grade in the Spring, talk to your High School NOW about taking the PSAT/NMSQT in mid October. Some schools order the exams in the spring and you want to be certain they have an exam for you, although schools are allowed to adjust their numbers as late as September. (Homeschooled families may have to contact several schools-public and private-to find a school that will allow you take the exam with their students. You will have to pay a small fee~$25)


8th and 9th graders should take the PSAT/NMSQT exam in October this coming Fall for practice, in their 9th and 10th grade year. Do NOT let high school counselors or anyone tell you 9th or 10th graders take the ‘PSAT-10’ or ‘PSAT-8/9’ and not the real PSAT/NMSQT. That’s BS! There is no rule against it! Make sure they order for you the real one. Why spend the money and time otherwise? Take the real test with real high school Juniors. Freshman and sophomores may not...

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