Scholarships are still available! Let’s help you find them!

 

As a supporter of a college student, one of the many things that probably causes you concern is trying to figure out how​​ to pay for your student’s educational expenses. If your student applied for financial aid, you may discover you need some additional funds to cover the expenses. ​​ I always like to remind our students and families that there is a lot of free money out there. You will want to be persistent and look for every possible scholarship you may qualify for, and then apply. I want give you all a head start by giving you two of my favorite organizations that connect students with some local Ventura County scholarships,​​ and major California resident scholarships that are still taking applications.​​ 

 

 

So be encouraged, there is hope and scholarships available for your student to apply. Take time to sit with your student -- to determine which scholarships are applicable to them, and have them apply right away.​​ 

 

Part 3: Creating S.M.A.R.T Goals

 

 

 

In​​ a previous post (Part 1: Why I should create a budget)​​ I​​ shared the importance​​ of​​ creating a budget​​ and planning for the known and unknown cost​​ of​​ going to college. The next post in the series (Part 2: Understanding the Cost of Attendance) I introduced​​ the Cost of Attendance, specifically at CSUCI​​ and what​​ upfront​​ cost and​​ some​​ future cost of college​​ to consider.​​ 

 

In this​​ post,​​ I​​ discuss goals. ​​ Specifically your​​ end goals​​ and how​​ to get there in a SMART way.​​ S.M.A.R.T Goals​​ are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

 

 

First, you want to set your goal(s).​​ We all have the usual college goals of doing well academically and making sure to get involved and​​ participate in campus events.​​ You want to make sure to practice self-care as well. ​​ Remembering that an over-stressed student is not​​ a very attentive student.​​ 

One of the most challenging things about going to​​ college is paying for college.​​ So creating financial goals is the key to a stress-free college experience.​​ When setting your goals,​​ be S.M.A.R.T about them.​​ Here is an​​ example:

 

Specific:​​ 

My financial aid (grants & loans) only covers​​ my tuition and a portion of my housing.​​ I will need to come up with $XXX of dollars to cover the balance of housing, books, supplies,​​ and incidentals for both fall & spring

Measurable:​​ 

I know that I​​ need​​ $XXX dollars for fall and spring.​​ Create small specific goals that I need to come up with by certain​​ dates, which​​ will allow me to see how close I am to reaching my goal. ​​ 

Achievable:​​ 

I​​ need to have $XXX by​​ (specific date)​​ which means I need to work no less than XX​​ hours a week for the month of June/July/August.

Realistic:​​ 

My average paycheck is $XX per​​ week after taxes and expenses.​​ This will leave me $XXX to save for my monthly goal during the summer and winter break.

Timely:

Fees are due late August which will allow​​ two and half months to save $XXX​​ for fall.​​ Fees are due late January which will allow me two months to save $XXX for spring.

 

Here are some good key pointers​​ to remember when setting your goals:

  • Work while you are in school. Not only will you​​ earn​​ money to help pay for college expenses, you can use the time to beef up your resume by getting jobs that coincide with your degree and career choices. ​​ 

  • If you take out student loans, only take out what you need.​​ Remember you are borrowing the money.​​ That means you have to pay it back.

  • Do not rely solely on credit​​ cards to pay for your tuition. ​​ You do not want to graduate with major​​ debt.

 

Learning how to create SMART goals now will benefit you throughout your college experience as well as later in life.

 

Next time we will cover things to consider​​ with college. Cost, resources and the finish line. Graduation!