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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Grants For A College Education

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This is a story told to me by a close friend. I hope everyone can learn from this as well.

When my daughter came home from school with college applications, my wife and I knew this day was coming soon. What we did not expect was to be turned down for grants to help pay for some of her education. She chose a school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is an hour away. She will be staying in a dorm since it will be cheaper for her and for us. My daughter will not work for the first semester so she can adjust to a new school and adventure. I was very proud to hear that my daughter wanted to go to college and offered her all the encouragement a parent can offer.

My experience with applying for grants was frustrating. After completing all the required paperwork and jumping through hoops, she was turned down. The reason for this seems to be that my wife and I make to much money. What they do not take into consideration is that we have three more girls at home as well. I tried to reckon with every one I talked to with no success. Yes, my daughter worked the entire summer to save enough money so she could concentrate on her first semester of school, but she will have to work all the way through college since we could not receive any grants.

My 401K plan does not allow me to take out a loan as well. Therefore, we are going to struggle to put our daughter through college. In two years, her sister will be attending college as well. We are hoping to start saving a little money for this daughter, but it will be hard since we are paying for the first one. We do not want our kids to start their adult lives with a hefty loan. We are parents who just wanted a little help with the financial aspect of college. My advice to parents of younger children is to start some type of savings now.

If you have children that might even consider going to college, do not assume there will be grants available like we did. We felt that our income was enough to take care of our family and buy them clothes, food and a place to live. In this day and age, that does not matter, you have to be very low income to receive grants for your child’s continued education. We have found out the hard way and we do not want other parents to find out the hard way as we did.

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