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From babies to college; time goes so quickly! My guest this week, Kourtney Perry, helped her baby go off to college this year. What a bittersweet moment! I am SO not ready for that, but her advice in this article definitely opened my eyes to some elements I can start implementing now to help ease that transition in the future.

Through her eyes…

The thought of sending a child to college doesn’t seem so bad in the early stages of their life. They usually enter 12th grade around 17/18 years old. So you think you have plenty of time, right? Yeah, I thought that till senior year rolls around and I had about 9 months to get things in order. My daughter graduated this year from Hoover High School in Des Moines, Iowa.

College Life: Graduation

Let me tell you it is the most amazing experience ever!

She is currently attending Hawkeye Community College while being able to reside on the University of Iowa campus. Many universities have ties with the community colleges that allow students to split there degrees in half. That means attending the community college to take a majority of their prerequisite classes at a cheaper cost. They will then be able to transfer those credits to the university to finish their four-year degree.

Pretty neat, huh!

My daughter is able to enjoy all the perks that happen at UNI like being a part of the Black Student Union, attending all athletic games, and being able to take advantage of the university lifestyle. She loves it. I tell her every day to get out there and enjoy it all.

However, going through the process of getting my daughter to college was quite scary and time-consuming.

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As a single parent, saving was not an easy task for me so I had to look at other options. The federal government provides money to students that fill out the FAFSA application. On October 1st of every year, the application becomes available. The earlier you fill it out, the better. Your child could receive a reasonable amount of money to help pay for tuition and other expenses. Filling out the application will also put them in line to receive state money and the option to take student loans. When filling out the application, you will have to list the school that your child will attend.

Your child does not need an acceptance letter to put the school on the application.

If they desire to go there then list that school on the application. We as parents will need to provide our income as the child will be seen as a dependent. Don’t be scared of filling out the application. It is fairly easy with instructions throughout the process. The IRS provides a link to upload your tax information to the application. You will only need some basic information like your filing status and return amount.

On top of savings and federal money, there are scholarships that your child can apply for. And let me tell you, there are billions of dollars in free money out there for any child to take advantage of. You can apply for a scholarship for being left handed, blind, artist, singer, blonde, and so much more.

Just google it.

Now, many of them do have limitations such as the area the scholarship is provided but each one will give you the guidelines up front so that you will know if you are eligible. Your child can start applying and accepting scholarships in grade school. Yes. I said grade school. The best thing is to make sure you keep track of them. There are no limits as to the number of scholarships you can apply for. Many of them may require a short essay and a video but aren’t they already doing those skills in class. Right!

I encourage any parent to start early for your child’s college expenses.

With my daughter basically attending 2 colleges her tuition, room, and meal plan for her first year cost around $10,000 for one semester. Now, a majority of that money came from FAFSA and scholarships. So, again apply, apply, apply.

Setting up a college fund is the greatest stress reliever too. Most banks can set your account up or there are college saving programs out there like College 529 that offers tax breaks. You can check out to find the plans available in your state.

I hope that this gives you an idea to start thinking about the future of your child. They are our precious treasures who will one day rule the world. 

College Life: Ways to Prepare Your Child

Kourtney Perry Guest HeadshotMy name is Kourtney Perry. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, I have one 18-year-old daughter, Journee Perry, that inspired me to share our experience. My grandmother always told me to spread the word and keep the knowledge flowing to others in need.

I am currently starting my own business, Privacy, LLC.

My company is dedicated to helping people find peace in their life. We endure many changes along the way to becoming great individuals and we sometimes lose the calmness in our lives. A t-shirt line will be my first project. Designs are currently in the first phase of drawing. Look forward to seeing the line launch in late November.

One service I will be providing is event planning in the Des Moines area. My event experience is on birthdays and social events. I specialize in being a Day Coordinator; this is when I come in the day of your event to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Thank you all for allowing me to share my information with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Stay connected with me on my Facebook page.

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