Thursday, February 28, 2013

College Common Sense {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

One of the most daunting times of any young person's life is preparing for college, whether he homeschools, or attends "traditional" school. As a parent, you try to be there to assist in this process, but ultimately your child must do the steering.

I know a little bit about this dilemma; I have graduated two from our home school. Yet, neither of them has applied to any colleges, nor have they applied for any financial aid.

With them in mind, I was happy for the chance to receive for review Going to College and Paying for It Online Video and workbook, a series of six video sessions, and pdf workbook pages, which will help guide you through the process of finding the most free money possible for college.

College Common Sense was designed by Denise Ames, a financial aid consultant at a university in Texas of several years. She speaks directly to the student, both in the videos and the workbook pages.

Some of the topics she covers:
  • What is financial aid?
  • How financial aid works
  • How to find good scholarships
  • Preparing a scholarship binder
  • Campus visit tips
I've had Jen watching through the videos, and preparing her scholarship binder. I'd like to see Tim doing likewise, but he doesn't seem too keen on going to college at all. I try to encourage both Tim and Jen to seriously consider some college, preferably at least an Associate's degree. I guess first they have to actually decide what they are interested in studying/becoming, and doing for a life work!

At least they both have visited some colleges! And we plan to visit a couple more in a few weeks, when we visit my folks in Florida.

What age/grade levels would most benefit from this? Well, certainly parents of students of all grade levels would find the information useful. Beginning in the middle school years, though, students themselves will start finding useful material. Definitely high schoolers need to start going over this program, especially 11th and 12th graders.

I find the information Ms. Ames shares quite useful; however, I feel the quality of the videos could be improved some. I noticed, for example, she says "pitcher" rather than "picture." Yes, that may seem rather nit-picky, but my mother has a Master's Degree in English, so I grew up in a grammar-proper family! And proper grammar makes a much more professional impression.

As a graphic designer, I find the pixelation of the type rather distracting. It makes the words look fuzzy, but Jen didn't seem bothered by it.

Also, the videos seem to pause frequently, which could just be an internet connection problem. I am sure the DVD would run much more smoothly.

Cost: Going to College and Paying for It Online Video and Workbook, one-year online access: $25.00.
DVD and workbook: $50.00, plus $5.00 shipping and handling

Contact Information:
P. O. Box 290109
Kerrville, TX 78029-0109


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  1. Sounds like a very helpful resource.

  2. This is something we should be watching, but when your child don't even have a clue what they want to do it is kind of hard to look that direction. I'll have to keep this in mind.


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