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A college education is becoming increasingly expensive. Making a plan on how you will
pay for it will greatly reduce stress for both parents and the future student. Here
are some steps you may want to use as you prepare for that next step in life.
Nashville, Ark. – School has just started and while you are trying to adjust to the
new school year, you may not have started thinking about college. However, now is
the time to be thinking about all the requirements for college enrollment, especially
for those planning to head off to college next school year. In fact, most colleges
are now requiring prospective freshmen students to be enrolled by November. For those
who are juniors or younger, you have a little time left. However, time is running
out. Even for parents who have sent their first child to Kindergarten, it’s not too
early to think about the future!
A college education is becoming increasingly expensive. Making a plan
on how you will pay for it will greatly reduce stress for both parents and the future
student. Here are some steps you may want to use as you prepare for that next step
expensive than private schools. Out-of-state schools cost more than in-state schools.
Look at schools that will meet your needs academically. Make sure they offer what
you want to get your degree in. Then weigh the pros and cons of each school you are
interested in to help you narrow your choices.
estimate all the costs associated. That includes tuition, fees, housing, meals, organizations,
etc. Then set up a budget to help you save and pay for college. Keep in mind that
if you take some dual credit classes during high school, you may be able to accelerate
the time needed to earn your degree. Watch out! Be sure to keep up with your hours
earned and not reach the number needed to be considered a sophomore when you start
college. Going into college with too many hours may jeopardize freshmen scholarships.
your parents or another relative? It may be a combination. Estimate how much you will
be receiving from all your funding sources.
costs. This should include school fees (tuition, room and board, books, etc.) plus
monthly/weekly expenses (eating out, school supplies, etc.). Also be sure to include
any part-time work earnings you may have.
have the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship available, but don’t rely on it to pay for
everything. It only funds a small portion of the total costs. Check with the financial
aid office at your school of choice. Also check out departmental scholarships. Some
scholarships are based on merit; others are based on financial need. Look at other
sources too. There are literally thousands of scholarships available online. It takes
time to research them, but it is worth it. Pay special attention to deadlines and
requirements of each.
Aid) as soon as possible increases your chance of being awarded financial aid. It
becomes available January 1 each year and closes June 30.
They are usually based on financial need. Check with the university or college of
your choice financial aid department to see what is available.
consider applying for student loans. Shop around for the best interest rates. There
are usually two options, federal and private. Federal loans may be based on financial
need. You will be required to have the FAFSA completed in order to apply for student
loans. Student loans do not cover the entire amount you will need.
attending college. Not only will the student be making some extra money, they will
also be gaining professional experience, something future employers look for. Most
college towns will hire students and work around their schedule.
college now! Check out the Arkansas 529 Plan which is an investment plan that allows
you to contribute money to an account to save for college expenses. This is a great
way to save, but you must start early. The plan allows you to contribute as much or
as little as you want each month and by the time your child enters college, they will
have built a nice nest egg. There are several options available to help you save and
invest. Check them out. They even have a coloring contest where one lucky Kindergarten
winner from each county in Arkansas will win the money needed to open the account!
If you want to learn more about budgeting or other financial questions,
feel free to contact me at the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or
visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
Information for this article was adapted from Practical Money Skills for
The Howard County Fair is next week! Consider entering items in the Home
Arts building on Tuesday, September 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Baked goods can
be entered that day or on Wednesday morning before 9:00 a.m. For a copy of the fair
tabloid, stop by the Extension office to pick one up. Here is recipe that is sure
to gain you a prize!
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Sift together the flour,
soda, and salt. Cream together butter or margarine, shortening, sugar, and vanilla.
Add egg; cream until the mixture is fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients until mixture
is smooth; blend in 2 tablespoons milk. Make round balls the size of cookies desired;
flatten with the bottom of a glass which has been dipped in sugar. Bake in a 400 degree
oven about 12 minutes. Cool.
Makes 5 ½ dozen 2-inch cookies
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.