Advice from a MidFirst Bank MoneyCoach
The cost of college does not have to be intimidating and there are many steps you can take to prepare your family to handle the costs.
The first step in preparing for the cost of college is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA offers favorable student loans and grants for eligible students. For many students, federal financial aid forms the foundation of their financial plan to pay for school. The earlier it can be completed, the sooner you can start putting together a plan.
Apply for scholarships early! By the time the summer arrives preceding your student’s freshman year, it is typically too late to apply for scholarships. Don’t wait! If your student is having a difficult time sorting through all the possible scholarship opportunities that are available, we recommend that they prioritize looking for local scholarships from organizations such as a rotary club, religious organization, or school because those scholarships will almost always be less competitive than national scholarships.
Make sure your student finishes their high school experience strong. Take advantage of opportunities for college-credit classes if they are available as that will often save you money in the long run. Additionally, make sure your student maximizes their scores on the ACT or SAT exams to try to get the best possible scholarships from their school of choice. Be sure to check the deadline for colleges accepting new test scores from these exams.
Finally, keep in touch with your student’s Admissions Counselor because they will be a valuable resource throughout the application process. One of their jobs is to help your student through the process of applying and navigating the on-ramp to college. They will often know additional scholarship opportunities or programs that students can pursue to help them pay for college.
For more information on the MidFirst Bank MoneyCoach Program, visit the program's website.