For high school parents who are understandably worried about paying for college, here are the best sources I’ve found to help you demystify the process and take control of college costs.
Mark Kantrowitz’s treasure trove of financial aid and scholarship information is one of those rare websites where it’s almost hard to believe he’s giving away all this information for free.
Paying for College Without Going Broke, 2013 Edition
Kal Chany’s guide is simply the best I’ve found at explaining not only how to apply for need-based aid, including detailed instructions on how to fill out the forms, but also how to maximize your eligibility without breaking the rules. The explanations can get complex, but no more so than the process itself.
Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents
Zac Bissonnette makes the most compelling arguments I’ve found that a good college education needn’t be expensive, that loans are not necessary, and that parents don’t need to sacrifice their security or retirement to pay for college. It’s hard to disagree when he shares exactly how he did what the title promises.
Secrets to Winning a Scholarship
While Kantrowitz (of finaid.org) makes it clear that outside scholarships account for only a small percentage of the available money to help pay for college (the largest amounts coming from the need-based aid available from the federal and state sources, as well as from the colleges themselves), free money to help pay for college is always a good thing. And I can’t imagine a better way to access it than by following the advice he shares in this quick read.