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If you know you won't have enough money for college because of medical stuff . . .


cintinative
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PLEASE DON'T QUOTE

Very abbreviated version of story: Due to health issues for me that would make it hard for me to work and all the time I spend homeschooling, I can't work. My husband's job has a history of not really giving raises and because of our family's health issues, we usually max out our insurance every year.  Other than a new job, there is not going to be a chance to rise above that, and at the moment my husband doesn't think this is a good time to look.  We have about $30K saved in a 529 plan. That's it, for both kids, and judging by the current status of medical stuff for me and projected medical issues for my husband, it just won't get better.  Our medical bills will only increase.

So . . . being that it is what it is, in about three years my oldest will be conceptually attending school.  Is there anything we CAN do, other than save money, to think ahead for my kids? Other than having them commute to our local university, I am open to ideas. Should I be exploring small schools with good scholarships?

Do they consider health issues when they look at potential financial aid?  Currently we are spending over $6K more per year than the cost of our insurance and contributions to the HSA.  

Thanks in advance, and PLEASE DON'T QUOTE

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Just throwing out ideas:

Do you live in a state with HOPE style scholarships?

Are there guaranteed transfer agreements at your local CC? 

Could your sons win a NM or National Recognition award? If yes, look at the schools that offer full tuition or full rides. These change every year.

Once you have an idea about what major they'd like, look at schools that are strong in that major and offer good aid. Just looking for good aid is sort of a scattershot approach unless you can narrow it down a bit by major, geography, size, etc.

Good luck!

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Just some things to think about-

1) Are you comfortable with student loans? We decided that federal student loans were within our comfort level. That gives $5500-$7500 (I think) to work with each year. My two college graduates had less than the federal limit. 
 

2) Can you contribute anything out of your regular budget? I mean in addition to your college savings? We found that we had a little from our regular budget we could contribute because we were no longer paying for high school education and extracurricular expenses, gas, etc. That might give you a little money to put toward it. 

3) Is inexpensive de an option? My kids have access to de that is free/cheap. They have had 30+ hours to go in with. One got a year of advanced work in as an undergrad but could have finished early. The second finished in five semesters and a couple summer classes. He saved a bundle.

4) Can your student work? My oldest didn’t have a job until he graduated high school but worked hard that summer at Amazon warehouse to pay his first bill. Second ds paid his first bill with earnings from a year waiting tables at Cracker Barrel. The third started at a grocery store spring of junior year and will also be able to pay his first semester. My kids have worked as able during college but we have wanted them to focus on school/professional type job experiences during the school year. But they have made decent money over the summers.

5) We have found the overall lowest costs at our regional state schools. The smaller non-flagship (sometimes called directional schools) are much lower tuition to start with and automatic scholarships kick in at lower test scores. These are often the best bet for a safety school. I would definitely get a handle on what the expected ACT score is and look for schools that will be affordable based on that. 
 

In our house it has ended up being a three way system of paying the college bills. After scholarships, we pretty much split it three ways = student loans+student earnings + parental assistance. Those three working together (plus scholarships!) has been a way for our kids to go away to school. 
 

 

Edited by teachermom2834
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Oh another thought- our directional state schools have a radius of a certain number of miles or bordering counties in other states that they make eligible for in state tuition or a special scholarship program. Our flagship doesn’t do that but some of the smaller state schools do. So that would be something to check out too.

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CLEP
If the student is good at studying and test-taking, this is a possible way of knocking out up to almost 1/2 of required courses in advance of college. Tests run $125/test and = college credit; you can also be reimbursed for test costs through Modern States. Be careful to only select tests that WILL be accepted by the future 4-year college and apply towards the future degree.

Scholarships
Scholarships.com -- here's a big list of national awards
Cancer, or Disability -- if the student, or their parent, has had cancer or a disability, there are specific scholarships available
National Merit -- best shot at getting full tuition or even full ride scholarships is by scoring in the 99% of the PSAT-NMSQT in 11th grade
Automatic Scholarships, based on SAT/ACT scores

Loans
Federal Student Loan info
The general rule of thumb is to take out total student loans that are no more than the average 1st year salary for that field. Currently, $31,000 is the maximum federal loans a student could take out, and that would be reasonable for many 4-year degrees. Hopefully, the student qualifies for subsidized federal loans, as the interest does not even start until the student has not been taking classes for 6 months. (Note: that is whether *graduated* or *unfinished* with a degree -- the loan repayments start then.)

More ideas for funding college in these past threads below, all of which are linked on PAGE 3 of the "College Motherlode" thread at the top of the WTM College Board. Ideas include:
- join the military for the GI Bill
- during high school & college, work for a company such as Starbucks or Chipotle that contribute $$ for employee tuition
- tuition reimbursement company -- they pay part of tuition costs in exchange for you working for pay for them after college

Alternatives to fund college / reduce college costs
s/o Cautionary Tale/high college costs — a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!
How are YOU managing to pay for college? (lots of real-life creative ideas) 
College as cheap as possible: need advice
College breaking the piggy bank? (how are homeschoolers affording college?)
GI Bill and dependents of active military funding? 
CyberCorps: scholarship for service - anyone try it? 

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Can you look into DE now with your kids in high school. If your state does not Pay for DE there are some colleges that will Allow students to DE from different states and they are quite reasonable. Grand Canyon university is $54 per credit but most of their courses are 4 credit and you also need to pay for books but it should still be less than or about $400. They only allow schoolers for this rate. Arizona state also has one for $425. You pay $25 up front and if your student takes the class and wants to keep the grade, they pay $400. This can potentially save you at least a year in tuition. 
Also looking at community colleges if you have them. 
its great that you are starting  to think and plan about it early enough. All the best. 

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So, medical expenses are often looked at at the very end of the financial aid process - you get an initial offer, then you document your medical expenses and appeal. And you may have to appeal every single year! Because of this, it's best to find the best price tags up front.

1. Run a generic financial aid calculator like this one: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/expected-family-contribution-calculator#

This will give you a feel for how much need based aid you can expect before appealing, at least at a generous school.

2. If your kids are bright, aim for those high test scores and merit scholarships. If your state offers HOPE, Bright Futures, etc. stay in state and take the money.

3. If your state offers low-cost or free dual-enrollment, get early college credits to reduce the time your paying for a degree (and then limit your college search to places that take all/most of that credit). The downside to this is that to make the most of this, your kids need to choose their majors early. So, don't neglect career exploration (particularly talking to people already in a field of interest or who studied a major of interest since jobs are not the same thing as majors)

4. Even if your kids are willing to take loans to go to their dream college, they can only borrow 5500 for a freshman loan. After that, it's a parent loan or a parent-cosigned loan. From your description, you cannot be signing for this debt. Make that very clear to your kids as they begin their college search.

5. And yes, bank what you can. If you're getting pandemic relief money, bank it if you can. As you get closer to enrolling, check out what you can get from the American Opportunity Tax Credit and any other programs in affect at the time that might reduce your expenses a bit.

 

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We were able to apply for Special Circumstances for a couple children.  That's separate from the regular financial aid process.  That puts you in direct touch with someone in Admissions so you can better explain your circumstances.  They often have separate funds available for special situations.  That's what they did for us.

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5 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

 

5) We have found the overall lowest costs at our regional state schools. The smaller non-flagship (sometimes called directional schools) are much lower tuition to start with and automatic scholarships kick in at lower test scores. These are often the best bet for a safety school. I would definitely get a handle on what the expected ACT score is and look for schools that will be affordable based on that. 
 

In our house it has ended up being a three way system of paying the college bills. After scholarships, we pretty much split it three ways = student loans+student earnings + parental assistance. Those three working together (plus scholarships!) has been a way for our kids to go away to school. 
 

We did this with our dd#1. It was surprisingly affordable. She drove it a semester then shared a house with friends a couple of years. She transferred to and graduated from the state flagship. All our older kids had lots of low cost DE, which also saved her a year. Her brother still did 4 years but was able to do a double major.

Also, most universities have some sort of search engine for what credits transfer in, allowing you to more carefully pick and choose your CLEP and DE credits.

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Even if you start on the CLEP website, it links you in to particular schools and what scores they accept. Often AP scores are easy to find from that too.

I had a very focused friend who managed college in 3 years because she had so many APs; she wanted to finish early due to a similar family situation. I had another friend who lost a parent who received a scholarship to a private college out of state. Otherwise community colleges and public universities do tend to be the most affordable with in-state tuition (also be sure to see if there are any reciprocal agreements with neighboring states).

It may be helpful for your kids to establish a relationship with local (or not!) colleges with summer activities — this could help them with admission and funding, and just be interesting for their personal growth.

Also make sure you’re aware of all the programs your local community college has; they tend to serve students with financial concerns and are often sympathetic and may have good ideas. Even things like guaranteed transfers, vocational programs, and anything else to file away for later use.

Additionally it’s worth hoping one day American families won’t be so burdened by paying for healthcare. It is theoretically possible that the situation could change on this front as well.

Best wishes.

Edited by stripe
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2 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

Also, depending in what your local university is, you may be able to take a job when the kids go to school- usually there are tuition agreements with other campuses or schools. Usually there is a waiting period.

Yes, the local university here requires that the parent has been working full time at the university for either 2 or 3 years (can't remember which) in advance of the benefit kicking in...

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Or another idea— if worst comes to worst, maybe your kids could get a job with a university or other employer that has an educational allowance. Apparently that includes Chipotle, Starbucks, Disney (seems limited to Florida universities), UPS, Walmart/Sam’s Club.

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Another something to look into is employer based scholarships. My dh’s employer offers a large dependent scholarship. It’s competitive but not impossible. One of my sons got that. My senior’s grocery store employer sponsors scholarships and it looks like they range from $1500-2000 per year. He applied but we haven’t heard yet. 
 

Some companies even make grandchildren of employees eligible. Dh’s previous employer did that. 
 

So something to look into and your child would probably need to work a year or a certain number of hours to be eligible so it is something to think ahead on. $2000 isn’t a big dent in a $40000 bill but if you have already chosen an affordable school and applied scholarships to get the cost down then it can really make a difference.

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7 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Yes, the local university here requires that the parent has been working full time at the university for either 2 or 3 years (can't remember which) in advance of the benefit kicking in...

At our local uni, it's 6 months. Probably half of the staff positions (housekeeping, safety, grounds) are filled by people using the benefit for themselves or their kids. 

Edited by MamaSprout
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Our state has intiated Core 42 which allows general studies classes labeled as such to be fully transferable within the state. So you could knock out general studies at the CC and transfer. I won't get into the debate whether courses are equal in rigor. Not sure if other states have those yet.

As someone who had zero funds to give my child for college, allowing him to live at home rent free was the only contribution I could make. He considered transferring one year until he realized the amount of debt he'd incurr for dorms or an apartment. Also, at the schools he was considering, transfer scholarships were not as much as those for incoming freshmen. 

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I don't think there is a question on the FAFSA that asks about medical expenses. You can contact financial aid offices and provide amplifying information about family expenses that can be taken into account when determining financial need.

These tip sheets are written for financial aid officers at colleges that use the CSS/Profile financial aid application. However, they give a good idea of the type of information that even FAFSA only colleges would consider useful for making professional judgement about aid. https://professionals.collegeboard.org/higher-ed/financial-aid/im/tips

 

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How do they test? How good are your state universities? Have you looked at their auto scholarships? Will they be eligible for Pell?

 

Because if you have a decent state school at $11k, a $5k Pell, $6k in auto scholarships, $3k in work study, and a $5k loan could cover 100%. 
 

 

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8 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

How do they test? How good are your state universities? Have you looked at their auto scholarships? Will they be eligible for Pell?

 

Because if you have a decent state school at $11k, a $5k Pell, $6k in auto scholarships, $3k in work study, and a $5k loan could cover 100%. 
 

 

The only testing they have done is IOWA. My oldest does better than my youngest, who has ADHD-Inattentive, but they have both consistently been in the 90s percentile wise overall  

The short answer on the others is I don't know.  Either I haven't looked into it, or it will depend on their ACT/SAT scores. If I am looking correctly, aren't eligible for Pell.

Full disclosure: If we weren't tithing, things would be better, but that's a non-negotiable for us. I know some people will think I am nuts to say that, but it is what it is. 

I appreciate you responding. I know that you have health things as well that most likely make this a consideration for you also.

Edited by cintinative
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I don't think you're nuts at all.  I would say there is more money out there than is realized.  My kids were solid test takers - NOT amazing, but solidly good scores.  They were scores high enough to hit automatic scholarships.  They did qualify for partial Pell.  How are your state schools?  I'll give you an example with solid numbers because no one ever does that unless their kid gets a 36 and the school begs them on their knees, lol.  DS did NOT score great on the Iowas until high school.  (He's dyslexic.) His scores around 5th grade were what made us decide to never show our kids their scores. 😉 We knew he was very bright, his scores just didn't reflect.  He's the reason we enrolled in a public homeschool so that we'd have a "real" diploma in case he needed it if his ACT/SAT were abysmal.  The ACT for him was a mediocre math score (24-25, I believe) a perfect reading score at 36, and an overall composite of 28.  Good.  Not mind blowing.  Tuition at state flagship - $10k. He ended up with $13,570 in scholarships and grants without counting loans - I just looked it up, lol.  This was without work study which was offered. 

DD(now 25) had similar numbers - both on the ACT and in offers - same school.

Now, let's fast forward.  DD17 skipped a grade.  She struggles with math and is great at reading and English, but she has test anxiety. She ended up with a very respectable composite of 26, but it missed most of the auto scholarships.  Her off at the same school was $2k.  Two.  However, her off in aid at a smaller state school was over $11k but both tuition and living expenses were lower (by more than $2k.) Again, this is before they consider taking federal loans.

So, no, I haven't had any consideration for medical expenses, even with this year's $20k home renovation and $20k van purchase for handicap accessibility, but HEY we DO have to count the 401k withdrawal as income - hooray. :/ 

I'd never minimize a homeschooler to a test score.  But, if affording college is a thing, I'd *never* tell them to minimize the importance of the ACT/SAT either.

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Thanks @BlsdMama  That is encouraging.  I hope my kids will do well on the ACT/SAT. 

I will be interested to see if your senior does get some consideration for your medical--it really seems "unfair" that they don't take that into account. I mean, I get it that the world is not "fair" but I still persist in the belief that every once in awhile we get to see a glimpse of it.  

We are in Ohio, and as far as I know we have decent state schools.  The only one I have heard about in particular from friends is Miami and they do offer an automatic scholarship of $7K based on ACT and GPA (I think it is 3.8 GPA and up).   University of Cincinnati is a decent option all around, and my kids could commute or live off campus since we are local. I don't know about their scholarships though because I haven't looked into it yet.  I did find out that West Virginia University offers in-state tuition to Ohio residents (well, at least right now they do!).  Same thing with Northern Kentucky University.  

At this point I have no idea what they will study so it's hard to know where to start. Maybe I could pull research from my friends with seniors and build on that. 

ETA: Ohio state, Ohio U and University of Cincinnati do not have automatic scholarships based on academic achievement

 

Edited by cintinative
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There is a very small state school (regional) that offers full tuition scholarships to ACTs starting at 25. The caveat is that does not cover fees ($2k/year), and they now require students to live in the dorms ($4.5k). Meal plans (1st yr is $4.5k) are mandatory every year, too. So, $11k/year after the tuition break. This is a good deal for the teachers who attend.

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Along the lines of @RootAnn's suggestion is a tuition-free school such as Berea (in KY), which has students working 15 hours/week throughout the year to cover their costs. It is smaller, so fewer degree options, and it is Christian, if that is pro or a con for your family. One of the families in our local homeschool group had a son go there (and graduate), and he really enjoyed his experience. (I don't know what degree he got or what he is doing now.)

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OP each year, in October, you (and the student) will fill out the FAFSA form on the U.S. government web site for the next school  year.  If you are a low income family, there is a greater chance that your sons will qualify for a "Pell Grant" from the U.S. government and be at or near the top of the list for university financial aid.  Also, if they are "first time" students (eg. neither you or your DH are university graduates) that is something that helps the student get accepted by a university. 

Try to have them well prepared to take both the ACT exam and the SAT exam. Some students do much better on one than on the other. Some like my DD do about the same on both tests. The tests are very different.

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We are in a similar situation due to unexpected job loss.  Dd is a senior so we had to do some quick pivoting.  I do work at a university so we decided pretty quickly that dd would pretty much have to go there in order to take advantage of my staff benefit.  At our university, employees have to have worked there for 4 years before the benefit kicks in.  That school was on dd's list anyway, but it was not her top choice.  So, there was a compromise there.  In addition to my staff benefit, dd also qualified for the top merit aid (another reason that this school makes the most sense at this time).  Between the two her tuition is completely covered.  She could live at home and commute easily but we told her she could live on campus if she found a way to pay for it from loans, working, or additional scholarships.  She did not want to take out loans so she started applying for every scholarship she could find.  Many are small but they add up quickly.  There is a lot out there.  The credit union we belong to has one, for instance.  Alumni organizations, local foundations, etc.....  She also secured a job.  It looks like it's going to work out.

Merit aid can be found for almost any student if you are willing to consider lower ranked schools.  That might not be ideal, but better than nothing.  

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4 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Along the lines of @RootAnn's suggestion is a tuition-free school such as Berea (in KY), which has students working 15 hours/week throughout the year to cover their costs. It is smaller, so fewer degree options, and it is Christian, if that is pro or a con for your family.

I think Berea is a wonderful and distinctive college, especially for creative/artistic young people. However it is almost certainly not Christian in the way most people think of such colleges (this is what they say about themselves), and the town was founded in order to advance anti-racist goals. As an example, bell hooks surprised a lot of people when she sought out a position at Berea because she liked it so much.

Ohio has tuition reciprocity agreements with Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Michigan State also has special scholarships for Ohioans. Here are some other suggestions for affording out of state schools.

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12 minutes ago, stripe said:

...Ohio has tuition reciprocity agreements with Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Michigan State also has special scholarships for Ohioans. Here are some other suggestions for affording out of state schools.

I was just about to come back and mention the tuition reciprocity agreements -- thx @stripe! 😄 

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17 minutes ago, stripe said:

 

Ohio has tuition reciprocity agreements with Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Michigan State also has special scholarships for Ohioans. Here are some other suggestions for affording out of state schools.

Just a note for all reading this, it depends a lot on what county you live in.  I am not eligible for any reciprocity for IN or MI (other than Monroe County Community College). It's ironic because the next county west of me is eligible for reciprocity with IN. 

.  

 

Edited by cintinative
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3 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Just a note for all reading this, it depends a lot on what county you live in.  I am not eligible for any reciprocity for IN or MI.  

 

Well, that stinks. What about the Ohio Spartan grant? (“The Ohio Spartan Grant automatically awards a minimum of $10,000 to Ohio residents who are admitted to Michigan State University as an incoming freshman pursuing an undergraduate degree.“)

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3 minutes ago, stripe said:

Well, that stinks. What about the Ohio Spartan grant? (“The Ohio Spartan Grant automatically awards a minimum of $10,000 to Ohio residents who are admitted to Michigan State University as an incoming freshman pursuing an undergraduate degree.“)

I will check into that. 

I have to say people around here have a pretty intense hatred for Michigan State. LOL.  Gotta love Midwest football rivalries.

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Yes, think about smaller, less well-known schools.  We have started looking and were surprised that Ds's 9th grade ACT scores are high enough for a modest scholarship at a regional Science and Technology school.  With a four point increase, he would be eligible for an additional $10,000 per year, with the possibility of additional departmental scholarships.  If his 10th grade ACT scores are not at least 4 points higher than his 9th grade scores, we plan to pay for a formal test prep series prior to his 11th grade test.  A few hundred dollars against several thousand in savings is worth it.   Son would be a big fish in a small pond at this school, but so far it is the only school he is considering where we feel graduating with little or no debt would be possible.   We do have some money saved for college but nowhere near our expected family contribution.  We are not in a position to take on parent loans. 

Does your son have a specific major or career in mind?  That can help narrow down possibilities.  Bowling Green and Wright State both offer scholarships but I'm not sure whether any automatic.  Depending on desired major, one of the branch campuses of OSU might be good fit.   The branches are much less expensive than main campus for the same diploma.

 

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11 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

And on a COMPLETE side note -- may I say, @stripe, I laugh out loud every time I see the quotation in your signature... 😂

This is why I can’t read vintage education articles...I inevitably come across such hilarities that distract me from whatever purported pearls of wisdom I’m supposed to be absorbing. (ETA — the entire article is bizarre, if you check it out.)

 

Univ of Toledo says they automatically consider students for merit scholarships, and THE Ohio State says they do for fall freshman Columbus campus applicants who apply by Nov 1.

Edited by stripe
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So, coming at this from a different angle...

What about the possibility of community college and a 2-year AAS degree in a field that pays decently?

And further, does your local community college offer free or low-cost tuition for dual enrollment? Our community college is 1/4th the cost of the state universities, and offers certain vocational-tech courses for free to dual-enrolled high school students.

Because that might be an option -- do all or most of an AAS degree during the last 2 years of high school at a lower cost than a 4-year university, and then go to work within a year or so of graduating from high school at a higher paying job, with benefits. If enjoying that field, great! If after a few years not satisfied and seeing the need for a 4-year degree, the student goes back to school, now old enough to not need parents financial info. And it could be a slower transition back into college -- knock out 2 gen. ed. classes per semester at the community college for a cheaper tuition, while still working and saving for college or for living expenses, then quit the job, transfer to the university, and knock out the remaining 2 years of the 4 year degree.

Also, would apprenticeship be a possible path of interest to either of your children? The best friend of DS#2 is in the midst of his electrician apprenticeship and loving it -- he works full time learning the trade while earning a pay check, and 2 nights a week he takes classes that are free to the apprentices; each time he completes a unit and passes the tests for the unit, his wages go up. By the end of 4 years, he will be a full-electrician and able to take the final licensing test that will allow him to work anywhere he wants. And he got paid to get there! 😄 

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@Lori D. those are all things I am considering. Here you can get some free credits from the community colleges from College Credit Plus, but the amount they award varies by year, and they tend to award more to seniors than juniors, juniors than sophomores, etc.  It is hard for me to say if they will be ready for college classes their junior year, but I hope their senior year that they can.

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On 3/28/2021 at 9:58 PM, stripe said:

Or another idea— if worst comes to worst, maybe your kids could get a job with a university or other employer that has an educational allowance. Apparently that includes Chipotle, Starbucks, Disney (seems limited to Florida universities), UPS, Walmart/Sam’s Club.

Home Depot and Panera are more for the list. I think some on the list may only be good an partner online universities, but I don’t know that for certain. 

The UPS is only/mainly available for part-time workers at certain locations. You can see which ones if you search on their jobsite. 
 

 

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oops... I meant to link some decent-paying jobs that only require an AAS:

medical
Nuclear Medicine Tech
Radiologic and MRI Technologist
Diagnostic Sonographer
Physical Therapy Assistant
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Cardiovascular Tech
Dental Hygienist

installer/repairer
Medical Equipment Repairer
Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installer/Repairer
Control and Valve Installer/Repairer
Solar Photovoltaic Installer -- no AAS needed
Wind Turbine Technician -- no AAS needed

science tech
Geology and Petroleum Technician
Environmental Engineering Technician

trades -- depending on the need in an area, these can be pretty decent paying
plumber
electrician
HVAC
welding
Industrial Machine Mechanic

utility companies often have internship/apprentice programs and on-the-job training that leads to a career with the company
electric
water
sewage

Edited by Lori D.
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Upthread, in my post with links to those "alternatives for funding college" threads, are links IN those threads for companies with college tuition reimbursement programs, but here are two links for quick viewing:

The Krazy Coupon Lady website: "33 Companies That Will Pay For Your College"
Get Schooled website: "25+ Companies With Tuition Reimbursement Programs"

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I get the impression that computer jobs can be had with more focused training e.g. certificate, passing tests, rather than just a bachelor’s. 

Another idea is the US Postal Service. In my area, they seem desperate for employees. A couple years ago the local USPS representative came to talk to a group about mail delivery, but he started off by begging us to tell anyone we knew to apply. He said tons of people disappear even though they’ve been hired — they don’t show up for training and are never heard from again. He said most people start on a temporary basis and then they hire from that pool. It’s a thought. A relative of mine also worked in police dispatch while in college. Government jobs are worth a look.

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Here are the UPS locations in Ohio that give education grants to PT workers.

Following is a list of all UPS facilities in the state of OH approved to provide the education assistance benefits as defined by the guidelines of the new UPS Earn & Learn program.

 

Celina, OH

Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati - Western Hills Area)

Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati)

Columbus, OH

Columbus, OH (Rickenbacker Air Facility)

Lima, OH

Obetz, OH

Sharonville, OH

Springfield, OH

Toledo, OH (Maumee)

Wilmington, OH

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On 3/30/2021 at 4:12 PM, stripe said:

I get the impression that computer jobs can be had with more focused training e.g. certificate, passing tests, rather than just a bachelor’s. 

That’s true. Employers need the skills set more than they need the degree. Community college, actively pursue internships and get a leg in employment wise.

My current junior decided prior to COVID that he wants to commute to college. Now he is interested in transferring instead to avoid the first year compulsory dorm requirement. My teens are a year apart so commuting would save us a lot in dorm fees and meal plans. Transferring would save us at least $12k a year in tuition, books and miscellaneous fees. Community college for us is free though.

ETA: 12 free credits per quarter for dual enrollment from 9th-12th. Free two years after high school graduation 

Edited by Arcadia
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1 hour ago, stripe said:

It looks like Starbucks only pays for online Arizona State degrees.

According to this, Chipotle will give tuition benefits to employees and their dependents and siblings.

The son of a dear friend worked for Chipotle for a few years and they provided $$ towards his tuition, so as of about 3 years ago, they were still providing the tuition benefit to employees. (He was early 20s and unattached, so no dependents, and certainly none of college-age. 😉 ) I believe he had to work either 9 months or 1 year ? not sure which ? before he was eligible for the benefit.

Edited by Lori D.
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On 3/30/2021 at 8:58 AM, cintinative said:

 University of Cincinnati is a decent option all around, and my kids could commute or live off campus since we are local.

Room and board is hugely expensive. I wasn’t sure from your original post if you were considering your local option, but that alone can save you 10k a year, sometimes more. 
 
My dh is disabled, and I can relate to having lots of medical bills. Our local CC was a good option. Inexpensive, lots of scholarships to apply for, good for kids with any kind of learning issues (better scaffolding than moving away). We made it through a variety of means—lower tuition through CC for associates and no added housing cost, Pell, state grant, scholarships at the cc, work study, summer jobs, transfer scholarships, loans, money we had saved, money they got when graduating high school, money they had saved...basically cobbled together! I tried to cover any expenses at the cc level and saved any excess scholarship or grant money from those years to apply when they transferred. 

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11 hours ago, stripe said:

It looks like Starbucks only pays for online Arizona State degrees.

According to this, Chipotle will give tuition benefits to employees and their dependents and siblings.

ASU can be a good choice depending on what you want to study. Their business degrees tend to be highly ranked and they offer an accounting degree that checks all the boxes for the CPA exam (many online schools don't and you'd need to do a masters as well). Their CS offerings are more limited and not as highly ranked. But, free is free, and ASU is certainly better than 99% of the online options.

11 hours ago, Arcadia said:

That’s true. Employers need the skills set more than they need the degree. Community college, actively pursue internships and get a leg in employment wise.

This and especially if you can finagle a top secret clearance. (The straightest path for this is the military, but there are other options.) A TS clearance and some solid beginner level certs (that don't require professional experience) can get you a well paid contract (about $60-70,000 a year) in a lot of locations. If you want to see what's available, clearancejobs.com is a good place to start.

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On 3/30/2021 at 12:12 PM, skimomma said:

 

Merit aid can be found for almost any student if you are willing to consider lower ranked schools.  That might not be ideal, but better than nothing.  

This brings up a good point. If the degree will get the young adult a position (or foot in the door) of what they’d like, that works. Also, they might opt to go somewhere else for grad school.  My OB and I had this conversation. He said no one ever cared and asked where his undergrad came from. 
 

I will hesitate to agree that a skill set is more important or equal to a degree. The degree, for many companies, is the “proof” a skill set is possessed. At DH’s company, there are jobs, even already employed, you cannot apply for or get interviewed for, without a four year degree. 

Edited by BlsdMama
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On 3/30/2021 at 2:57 PM, Sherry in OH said:

 If his 10th grade ACT scores are not at least 4 points higher than his 9th grade scores, we plan to pay for a formal test prep series prior to his 11th grade test.  A few hundred dollars against several thousand in savings is worth it.   

 

There are a lot of good books that help. ACT Black book, For the Love of ACT Science, Meltzer Reading, Meltzer English.

Our daughter was able to up her score on English section of the ACT after just 2 hours of black book study 5 - 6 points (10 actual points, but she was just getting a flu but didn't realize it when she took her first ACT, practice scores were higher than first test) from the Black Book. She had already taken Practice Test 1 - 3, the Black Book analyzes errors and points you back to rules for each problem missed. This got her out of both Freshman English classes, and overall ACT improvement got her merit aid. I do wish we had started earlier with her, though. She could have gotten the next level of merit aid with more time to study.

We had our son start SAT study earlier, he does better on the SAT.

Mathchops is also good once you get to above 80% level on ACT/SAT, it's hard to find challenging problems at that level, it's not that expensive. You take their level challenge until you are at the level you are scoring on the ACT/SAT and then every problem is at your level, very efficient.

For the SAT, the new 1600io orange book is good, it's a 2 volume set, has an appendix to go to teaching and problems for each question missed. Other good SAT books are SAT Black Book, Meltzer Reading, and either Metlzer Writing or College Panda writing, both are about the same.

The generic books really aren't that helpful. Kahn is OK but books are more efficient. Uworld is supposedly good but we haven't tried it.

Edited by ElizabethB
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