Have you heard back from the colleges you have applied to? Have you started to receive information back from the federal government and colleges about your financial aid monies from the FAFSA you submitted? If so, now is the time to take a close look at your college choices and your finances. Will you have enough money to pay for the school of your choice? Should you be looking for additional scholarships to pay for the tuition, room & board, and/or textbook expenses that haven't been covered yet? Will you need to find a good-paying summer job to contribute toward the cost of your college education? Will taking out a student loan be necessary?
Be sure to sit down with your parents with all of your college options in front of you. Remember, some families are able to pay for college with no concerns about finances, and others have to plan down to the very last penny. Make sure you have a realistic idea of what your college expenses will be and make an educated decision after that. There are always scholarships to apply for to cover your unmet need, but it does take a lot of work and effort to actually win the scholarships, so you need to be sure you're committed to finding additional funding if the school of your dreams is just a bit out of your family's financial reach. Be flexible and open-minded this month as you plan and talk together. This is the beginning of the rest of your life...be sure you make this decision wisely.