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College Common Sense–My Review

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It’s hard to believe, but Prince Charming will be graduating high school in May. My little boy has grown up. As melancholy as I’d like to be, there’s just no time.

For the last eight months, I’ve spent a large amount of time with college selections, applications, scholarships, visits, and all the other things that go along with this life transition. There are so many things that you just don’t think about.

This is where Going to College and Paying For Itcomes in very handy. I was given this product by the Review Crew earlier this year. It’s a product of College Common Sense. Going to College and Paying For It comes in two different formats. You can order the DVD and Workbook for $50 plus $5 shipping, or you can access an online version for $25 and receive 12 month log-in access. Supplemental products include videos, as well as a monthly newsletter and lesson plans.

What makes this product truly unique is that it’s not just for high school students, but is also geared for elementary and middle school students. Believe it or not, children in these age groups can earn money for college. Going to College and Paying For It shows you how to find these sources.

Since my focus is middle school and more pressing, Prince Charming, I didn’t really look at the elementary program. The middle school lesson plans I was supplied for February included a different focus each week. For the sake of space, I’ll only hit the high points. Please, visit the College Common Sense website for more details. The last thing I want to do is sell this program short, because this is really worth the value.

The “All About Me” notebook is a fantastic journal system for kids. If a middle school child starts this in 6th grade and takes it throughout high school, they will have a better grasp of who they are as a person; of what they want to do with their lives–what God wants them to do with their lives. What types of college courses will interest them, and which ones won’t. This will be an invaluable journal of a child’s growth and development as an individual. Moms, you will have a treasured path of memories.

Other parts of the middle school program include taking timed test to practice for future ACT/SAT, brushing up on math and vocabulary skills, writing and presenting reports.

The high school program has lesson plans specifically for seniors, and a set for freshman/sophomore/juniors. Again, I didn’t focus on the other parts not applicable to my situation, but did notice they didn’t vary much from the seniors. The senior lesson plans had a greater sense of urgency than the others.

As I stated early in this review, I’ve been knee deep in college planning since last August. When I saw the senior lesson plans I sort of took a step back, they were contrary to all the rhetoric I had been hearing. The lesson plans started February 1. The first thing on the list was for the seniors to start working on the government FAFSA form with a deadline of February 28. In short, this is a form to see how much government funding your family is going to qualify for, and colleges won’t give out scholarships until they have this report. It’s based on your income tax return. We had it drilled in our heads that the deadline for FAFSA was January 31. I contacted Denise Ames, the owner of College Common Sense about this issue. She clarified that February 28 is the deadline for colleges. The January 31 deadline we faced was a Tennessee state instituted deadline for the Hope Scholarship. Prince Charming was awarded the Hope Scholarship. My advice is to check with your individual state so you can take advantage of those obscure and specialized scholarship deadlines.

Another goal for the seniors in February is to take the ACT/SAT. Again, I had issues with this. Prince Charming took the ACT for what was the last time in February, and that was late. Denise and I had a nice chat about this. My understanding now is that students can take this test up until the college tells them they will no longer accept the scores. Most often better scores only mean more scholarship funds, and the more often the test is taken, the better the score.

The rest of the senior plans were in line with what we were doing. Finding the best scholarships, and making college visits.

I’m very impressed with Going to College and Paying For It. The program is sound and gives you a solid foundation for seeking out the right college and scholarships for your child. If started in the junior or even sophomore level, you’ll have a great start and feel for what you need to do your child’s senior year, and you may even have some scholarships lined out to boot.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

About rcwriter

Being a freelance writer, book reviewer, dedicated mom, and popular teacher at her homeschool support group—Renewed Moms Ministry keeps Rhonda Clark extremely busy. She writes most all of her own curriculum for her classes that have varied from elementary science, to middle school history and literature, to high school computer. Her middle school history class, A Renaissance World, will be featured at fall of 2014. When not shuttling her daughter to soccer, archery, bowling, or any other number of endless activities, she devotes time to writing homeschool curriculum and her first novel. Scrapbooking, paper crafting, and reading are downtime activities, but the one thing she enjoys most is spending time with her husband of 20 years. They have two children, a college age son, and a high school age daughter. God blessed Rhonda with a quirky and funky sense of humor. This combines with down home charm, and allows her to connect to readers as a friend. With an ability to put a fresh twist on basic thoughts and Biblical teachings she brings a new perspective to her audience.

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