Monday, February 25, 2013

College Common Sense -TOS Review

If you, like me, have been confronted with college tuition and kids old enough to go, you will be interested in
by Denise Ames. And if you have younger kids you'll want to consider this as well. Mrs. Ames is a financial aid officer with over a decade of experience and will walk you through the process of understanding financial aid, where and how to obtain it and how to organize the process.
Going to College and Paying for It Video and Workbook
In this program you will learn:  
1. Steps to go to college
2. What is financial aid?
3. What is a FAFSA? Do I need one?
4. How does financial aid work?
5. Taking a college visit
6. Where can I find free money for college? How do I apply for it?
7. How do I fit into the whole picture of college and financial aid?
In addition to the paid program, you can sign up to receive CCS's free newsletter.The web-site also has a   multiple links to resources for grant and scholarship information
There are two ways to obtain the information
1) You can purchase the DVD and workbook- perfect if you have a couple of kids and will be using the program for a couple of years.  This retails for $50 + $5 shipping and handling.
2)  The 12 month log-in access to all six videos and a printable workbook for $25.
Feeche (about to graduate) and I watched 2 of the videos alone and he watched the remaining ones on his own. In addition we went through some of the workbook together.
While the information on the videos is good, I think the program would work just as well as a workbook. Frankly, I was quite perplexed when I initially received the program. I like a good visual overview of what to expect. While the first video talks about what the program will present that there is no "Table of Contents" per se and that would have been very helpful. Also, there is constant referencing in the videos to links on the web-site (which, once found, are great, btw). On my computer, at least, the link drop downs are visually odd so they don't also link through easily. I had a devil of time trying to figure out where she was referring to.
In addition, Feeche felt that the presentation style on the videos was boring and pedantic. In addition he took issue with 2 ideas put forth by Mrs. Ames 1) "Your future is up to you" and 2) "lucky people are the ones that simply work hard." Both of these were frustrating to my 18 year old who believes 1) his future is up to God, and 2) who has seen, over and over again, that the rain shines on both the just and the unjust. While he understands that Mrs. Ames is trying to encourage kids and young adults to take ownership for their education he felt that these statements perpetrate an attitude of entitlement and expected outcomes. (his .02 worth).
Content- great
Presentation- medicore
Organization- poor
With that caveat, it's a great way to learn about paying for college. Good for any age for those pursuing higher education or responsible for kids who have college in their future.
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