CMM 036 – Why Your 8 Year Old May Never Go To College – Episode 36


Planning for college is easier than being caught unaware of the costs

My son AJ is 8, and my fear is that he truly won’t be able to afford college, even if he is a top notch student. After all, I couldn’t when I was younger.

When I received my admissions letter in 1994 to George Washington University, I was stoked. I thought my life was getting off to a great start. Then I saw the cost of attendance…and soon left school for the US Navy. I’m proud of my service, but given the fact that the cost of college then is a fraction of what it is now, I wonder how many more kids are taking a similar path as well?

It’s time to surrender the notion that our kids could ever work their way through college; research has shown its no longer possible. College cost increases in tuition are consistently outpacing inflation. For those parents with kids not in high school yet, its time to face reality. What is increasing the pressure on those of us that have young children is the fact that the educational market is beginning to bifurcate between low-cost, and high-price colleges. Right now, there is still a large mix of college that meet the needs of many student background types; high gap/sat, high net worth, low net worth, and transfer/returning students. However this is changing as smaller private “gem” colleges that borrowed heavily during the boom years of the late 90’s early 00’s are having their budgets and endowments stretched due to lower enrollment as the cost rises.

What makes this worse is that these were the great colleges where students could attend for even less than state universities with the right merit aid award for middle class families. To discuss this we interviewed Grace Nunez (@CostofCollege) ( soon to be on one of my Top 10 Financial Aid Blogs For Parents) and she talks with us about the shrinking number of colleges that will be able to offer healthy merit aid to students they admit.

Listen to the episode: [audio]

Download The Episode: CMM 036 April 30, 2014


Links Mentioned During This Episode

Cost of College –

Scholarship of the Week – Show Your College Love Scholarship

FinAid (a Mark Kantowitz) site –

Paying for College Without Going Broke by Kalman Chany : via Amazon

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – via Amazon 

transcript after the jump.

Continue reading CMM 036 – Why Your 8 Year Old May Never Go To College – Episode 36

The Start-Up Adventure Begins For

A new web-app service that proposes to help parents organize their scholarship efforts.

ScholarMama | Start-Up Blog

12 years ago, I was high school drop-out on my way to college at age 23.  I had made it my mission to return to school with a vengeance. But how to pay for it all? I wanted to avoid student loans at all costs. I had seen what debt did to other families and would have none of it.

I had taken a class in Not-For-Profit grant writing, and found out that the same skills that go into writing grants, apply to the world of scholarships as well. After a bachelors, and a master’s degree, I came out without student loans and over $250,000 in financial aid and scholarships awarded. However, one of the hardest parts about the entire effort was never the essay, or the letters of tough to organize, but important to remember, scholarships dates matterrecommendation. It was organizing the whole process. I didn’t have access to the convenient and ubiquitous calendars we now have that…

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Show Your College Love Scholarship – Our Scholarship of the Week

Mindy popp of Popp and associates is offering $500
source: Popp and Associates

I love it when one of our interviewees offers a scholarship of their own. This weeks interviewee, Mindy Popp (@MindyPopp), of Popp and Associates is offering a $500 scholarships to Show Your College Love.  According to their page, the scholarship works as follows:


The 2014 Show Your College Love Contest is for high school seniors (Class of 2014) and current college students attending a 4-year college in the United States now or beginning in the summer 2014, fall 2014, spring 2015, or fall 2015 semesters.  Students are invited to submit photos and/or videos along with a brief text explanation of why they chose the college they plan to attend or what they love about their current college experience.

Contest submissions will be accepted until midnight EDT May 9, 2014

The winner will receive a college scholarship in the amount of $500, and a charitable donation in the amount of $250 will be given to the winner’s high school, college or charity of choice.

I say get on board and start applying now. After all you have nothing to lose and $500 to gain if you win. Good Luck!

ICYMI – Weekly Financial Aid Coffee Klatch – April 21 – April 25

Weekly summary coffee klatchLast week was a great week and thank you to all those who asked me questions on twitter @CollegeCashMan, and to my new newsletter subscribers.It was a short week due to a family emergency, but we did get our podcast out last week on time and well received.

Published Work

The College Money Man Podcast – Episode 

Podcasting on scholarships, financial aid, and admissions35

This week we dedicate the entire episode to saving for college and what it takes to save for your college bound teen. Beatrice Schultz, host of College Smart Radio  [audio]

Scholarship of the Week

$2500 Scholarships offered through the NRAEF Due In AprilThis one is offered by Popp and Associates, an Admissions Consulting firm. The winner will receive a college scholarship in the amount of $500, and a charitable donation in the amount of $250 will be given to the winner’s high school, college or charity of choice.




Spotting Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams

Parents: don’t pay anyone to search for aid for you except a financial aid professional who offers a range of services.

After reading Jill’s article from last week, one of my former students (now a College Freshman) sent me a very official looking flyer from the ‘Student Financial Resouce Center’.  It had been circulated on her campus with this claim:  For $65.00 and some sensitive information about you (like your social # and financial information), they will search for financial aid programs for college students.’   

For the record, they won’t really.  In return for your $65.00 you’ll get a ‘guidebook’  (term I’m using lightly) maybe, with a few websites like (the legitimate, and VERY free independent scholarship site that Jill mentioned), and the College Board or, all of which provide financial aid information for free. 

I understand the desperation that many students and parents may feel as they scramble to meet the May 1 deposit deadlines.  And unfortunately in their quest to leave no stone unturned, some…

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