PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - For high school students who want to be college students, this is crunch time. Selecting a college and paying for college are daunting tasks for the students and their parents.
At Palm Beach Gardens Community High School on Tuesday, a group of parents and their children were getting advice on what to do to make it work in world of growing competition and mounting college costs.
That is where The Princeton Review 's Robert Franek comes in. "Folks are going to ask you for your whole life, 'where did you go to school?'," he said. "So, it's a big decision." Franek literally helped publish the book on 'Paying For College Without Going Broke'. "This process can be exciting and enjoyable and all of these things are knowable."
Four of his best tips:
1) Never cross a college off your wish list because of its price tag. More expensive schools usually give out more financial aid.
2) Work hard in high school. Good students get in to college and qualify for more grants and loans.
3) Talk to current college kids. Franek says they are the true college experts on academics, campus culture and costs.
4) High school students and their parents need to discuss how far their family's dollar can be stretched. Franek says setting financial boundaries now can avoid disappointment down the road.
Franek also recommends that prospective college students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA). Filling out that form is the first step in unlocking $180 billion available scholarship dollars.