Author Topic: 2 years to save for college  (Read 4629 times)

csuino

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2 years to save for college
« on: February 20, 2014, 02:01:53 PM »
I'm currently 16 (junior in high school) and I am wondering were I should be putting my money that I want to save for college. My parents have no money for me to pay for college. I have heard CD's are a good option. Please recommend any other things I could do with my money. Also, if you have any tips so I can graduate with little debt (apply for scholarships, advanced classes, in-state public school,work, etc.)

warfreak2

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 02:17:55 PM »
If you know when you'll need the money, and it's within two years or so, then CDs will do the job. Don't worry about trying to squeeze an extra fraction of a percent on what is likely a modest amount invested over a short period of time.

As a 16-year-old you have a lot of spare time. (Any time you spend on TV, Facebook &c. is spare by definition.) Use it to acquire useful skills which will increase your income (or lower your expenses) in the future, including at college. Learn to cook, program a computer, get some practice doing plumbing or carpentry, or learn a foreign language, for example. Also, if you know what you'll study at college, get a headstart on learning the material now, and it will be easier when you are there, giving you more time and options to work while you're there. Investing your time is going to bring you much better returns than investing your money, at this stage - that's why you're going to college at all, right?

greenmimama

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 02:37:05 PM »
I applaud you for trying to do your best, I would check this book out for more info https://www.rachelcruze.com/resources it specifically is for getting through college debt free.

What is really important is choosing a good affordable school. We paid cash for my husbands schooling, but it also took him longer than the regular 4 years, since when we couldn't afford it he would take a semester off sort of thing, but boy was it awesome for him to graduate with owing no one!!

nereo

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 02:47:25 PM »
I'm currently 16 (junior in high school) and I am wondering were I should be putting my money that I want to save for college. My parents have no money for me to pay for college. I have heard CD's are a good option. Please recommend any other things I could do with my money. Also, if you have any tips so I can graduate with little debt (apply for scholarships, advanced classes, in-state public school,work, etc.)

I'm 33 and have gone through the traditional 4 years of college followed by many years of graduate school.  Here's the advice I wish someone had given me ~15 years ago:
Consider going to community college for 2 years, getting all your GenEds out of the way, and then transferring to your state 4-year college.  You'll shave almost half of the cost off your education, and your degree will be issued by that 4-year University.  Literally *no one* will care (or even notice, if you don't bring it up) that you went to the community college first. Bonus: finish at the 4 year university in only 3 semesters (3.5 years total).
Many community colleges even have agreements with state 4-year schools.  If you keep your GPA above a certain level, they will allow you transfer automatically.
Live at home if you can and work part time.  Statistically people who work 10-15 hours a week do BETTER than those that have their parents pay for college outright.

I agree with warfreak2: if you know you'll need the money in 2 years than a CD is a good place to park your cash.  Chasing higher returns (with higher risk) is likely a fool's errand with such a short time frame.

minimalist

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 02:47:53 PM »
I'm currently 16 (junior in high school) and I am wondering were I should be putting my money that I want to save for college. My parents have no money for me to pay for college. I have heard CD's are a good option. Please recommend any other things I could do with my money. Also, if you have any tips so I can graduate with little debt (apply for scholarships, advanced classes, in-state public school,work, etc.)

What state are you in? Community college is a great way to save money.

Cwadda

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 03:31:57 PM »
I'm in college now. I posted on your other thread, those 5 things.

If your parents don't have the money, chances are you will get a decent financial aid package. Apply to FAFSA when it becomes available. You can also get work-study and work on campus. If you like working with people, consider Residential Assistant (RA) in your later college years. My university pays RA's for their room $6300/yr plus a $2000 cash stipend for meal plans.

Take AP classes. Not sure what you're planning to major in, but the more the better. This is something I wish I had tried harder on. I only got 3's on them. My university accepts 4's and 5's. In addition, find out how the college will distribute the credits. For example, if you get a 4 or 5 on AP biology, then you receive credit for two biology courses (8 credits!!!). Chemistry is the same way. My school charges $1500 for a 4 credit summer class (which are even cheaper than the regular year). That's $375 per credit. If you get Biology credit, then that's 3 grand saved instantly. Plus you can graduate earlier, which saves even more. I know some people that came to my school with 30+ credits - starting off school as a sophomore! Take advantage of this. There are dual enrollment classes too, like mentioned earlier.

While in highschool, get a job and start saving. Especially in the summer. Bussing tables is a good option for weekends. If you like sports, refereeing is something to get into. It's often a cash business most of the time (tax free). Work during the summers for sure. I worked in high school doing odd jobs, playing the organ for churches, and painting. There's a lot to do - you have to go out and get it. 

Build your resume, study for the SAT/ACT, etc. That's all normal stuff.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 03:34:13 PM by Cwadda »

LouisPritchard

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 03:32:52 PM »
I did my first 2 years of college at a CC at night while working full time and paying cash. It took 4 years. I do however have a 4 year degree now. I got some help from parents and some small loans for the last 2 years which I did the traditional way, and paid the loans off within 18 months of graduation.

Do you have any idea of what you want to do for a living? If not, and you can't go for free due to scholarships and the like, college might not be the answer. There's plenty of high paying jobs in the trades out there. I went to work as a roustabout on an oil platform in the gulf of mexico after college for 65K a year only required a GED. I made 90K last year and work on land now but my job still doesn't require any sort of post high school education, and none of my co-workers have advanced degrees. Now if you do score financial aid to pay for it all by all means give it a go, just don't think you have to go to college to make a living.

csuino

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 03:49:30 PM »
I'm currently 16 (junior in high school) and I am wondering were I should be putting my money that I want to save for college. My parents have no money for me to pay for college. I have heard CD's are a good option. Please recommend any other things I could do with my money. Also, if you have any tips so I can graduate with little debt (apply for scholarships, advanced classes, in-state public school,work, etc.)

What state are you in? Community college is a great way to save money.

Wisconsin

mxt0133

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 03:51:08 PM »
csuino - The fact that you are asking these questions at 16 puts you light years ahead of where I was at your age. 

There are lots of good advice already given. 

First AP courses as they can count at college credits. 

1.5 Apply to every scholarship you can, ask your school for applications, ask your parents if their work has scholarships, look online for any and apply.  Spending 30 minutes to fill one out and get $1000 is a great return on investment.

Second really find out why you want to to go to college, is it just to score a good paying job so you can be FI as fast as possible, it is purely for the educational experience.  I think answering those questions will make paying for college more clear. 

Third, maybe you don't need to go to college right after high school.  Some people get full-time jobs that will actually help pay for school.  It might take you longer but you'll graduate with a positive net worth.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 03:53:06 PM by mxt0133 »

csuino

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 03:59:44 PM »
For a short term savings, I would recommend a simple savings account.  The rates are low, but so is the risk.  Also, it will be helpful to have access to the money at any time.

To keep your college costs low, I can only speak from my experience.  I had scholarships and grants cover all of my undergraduate and graduate work.  I would recommend keeping your grades up (I mean, a 4.0 on 4.0 scale).  Take a prep course for the ACT/SAT.  High scores and grades were the major driving force behind my successful avoidance of tuition & fees.  Apply for EVERY scholarship you can.  I received $500 for being an athlete that likes math (not kidding). 

I also took every AP class my high school offered, and I made sure to get a 5 on all of the exams (any other score was useless for college credit).  I also took classes at the local college (dual enrollment), which counted toward HS and transferred to the college. 

While in undergrad, I had my tuition and room & board covered through scholarships, but I still had to cover books and spending money.  I had a part-time job doing research with a faculty member, which helped my grad school applications.  I also did research in the summer (and was paid). 

Good luck with your planning!

Yeah I am taking many AP's and currently have a 4.0. How/when/where do you apply scholarships? Also I believe you do get credit for a 4 on the AP exams for some subjects depending on the school. 

Cwadda

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 04:12:28 PM »
Scholarships should be available at any time. Stop by your guidance office and ask. They are also online. For the actual scholarships, just follow the instructions.

PajamaMama

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 04:45:04 PM »
There are free scholarship search sites online. Fastweb.com is one and there are many others. These should be free. You shouldn't have to pay for a search or to apply.  Also go to your library. They have books with scholarships available for each year. You can begin applying for some scholarships now. Many are for seniors, but there are also alot  that are for younger students.  Your guidance counselor will have information on scholarships. Most of that information is given out junior and senior years. The colleges you apply to will also have their own scholarships.  I second the community college for two years then transferring to a four year college. Also don't shy away from private colleges. They are expensive, but many give out better scholarships than a state university. You do have to pay a small fee to apply to each college usually, but if you have a college your interested in then it doesn't hurt to find out what financial aid they may give you.

 Good luck!!


phred

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Re: 2 years to save for college
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 05:18:35 PM »
Books on scholarships are available at the public library.  As already mentioned, your school's guidance counselor will also have similar info
  At the very least you should qualify for a Pell Grant.  This is free money.  Your guidance counselor will have info on this.  The government provides low cost education loans (Stafford Loan) @ about 3.85% interest.  Whatever you do, in these uncertain times, do not go to a private lender; the interest rate is higher.
  If not yet in the 11th grade get hold of a couple PSAT study guides and memorize the vocabulary lists.  Doing well on this test may earn you a Merit scholarship.  Many private scholarship granters also use PSAT scores to determine your worthiness.
  I would not bother, at this time, learning carpentry, plumbing unless you're already into it.  If you want to go away to college, I would go to the community college and take their course on how to be a waiter; it should be within the food & hospitality department.  Get a pt-time job serving so youcan show experience once on campus. 
  Live close enough to the campus so you don't need a car.
  Stay on good terms with all of your high-school employers so you can get one to hire you over college Christmas vacations.  Try to find a summer job in your major once in college.  Supplement this with an additional summer pt-time job if necessary