All the Way to the Finish Line

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Published by Sherri Graf, CEO of Imagine College Coach

“Helping parents secure college financial aid for their high schoolers.”

It is a marathon, not a sprint. As a parent, you have been a faithful fan. You stood in the rain, endured sweltering heat from the stands and cheered until your voice ran out. You have driven miles and miles to get your child to practices, games and school events.

You have cooked countless pancakes, spent more than you knew possible on shoes, braces and Christmas gifts. You never once wondered if it was worth it. You’ve dried tears, cleaned cuts, and bruises and have logged many hours helping with homework.

The funny thing is, you wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve watched overtime, extra time and now it is YOUR TIME. As our children grow into adults, our role in their life changes. You knew this day would come.

Maybe you began saving for college long ago or maybe the time went faster than you expected. Either way, the stark reality of finding money for college can be overwhelming. The costs of college are rising but so are the opportunities to find scholarships, grants, and financial aid.

There are many ways to continue to support your child through the transitions that are on the horizon. If your child is in high school or college, there are many ways to secure funds for college. $46 Billion dollars is awarded in grants and scholarships by the US Department of Education. In addition to that $36 Million dollars are given away in private scholarships each year.

According to College Board, a moderate budget to consider for an in-state, public school is $25,290 per year. The misconceptions that I often encounter are that some students think that a private education isn’t an option because of the price.

I often see that Private Universities have large endowment funds and give away money generously to the right student. I encourage my students to apply to many different types of schools and evaluate the right choice for them once they learn how much money each school is offering.

Many students ask how they can receive scholarships and how they can be competitive in the process. Learning to stand apart from your competition is key. Building a strong resume, having a social media strategy, applying to the right school, having strong essays and making the right connections are all important pieces of the puzzle.

The earlier that you start preparing, the greater the opportunities to find money for college. Starting as soon as your student enters high school gives you a strong advantage in finding financial aid.

Having a college coach can be very helpful in the college admissions and financial aid process. There are scholarships for students of all ages, including elementary and middle school students. The process of looking for scholarships can be fun, exciting and very rewarding if you have a successful plan.

Each month, I offer a list of scholarships that are delivered into your inbox monthly. Many parents find this resource a valuable way to find money for college. You can sign up for that here.

It is an excellent resource to help you find the money you are looking for. There are many things you can do to help your student both financially as well as your continued support through college.

You may not be in the stands cheering them on at this point, but I have no doubt they will know that you are doing all you can to help them transition into the adults that you’ve always believed they will be. We at Imagine College Coaching are here cheering you on to the finish line.

Sherri Graf
CEO / Imagine College Coaching

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