I'm hearing the horror stories. A higher education is so expensive and you have to jump through endless and complicated hoops for grants and loans.
Let me take you back to a simpler time. I'm not sure if it was 1978 or 1979, but it was during my senior year in high school. There was a financial aid seminar at my high school one evening. I went alone. I thought I'd involve the parents once I had a feel for the system and what needed to be done.
I don't remember where the presenter was from, but I'm sure it wasn't from this planet. He just couldn't explain things in a way students and parents could easily understand. To say this meeting was painful would be an understatement.
There was one thing I understood quite clearly, and it came at the very end of this two hour torture session: family income requirements. I was lucky and unlucky at the same time. Both parents worked. I would be the only child in school. We were by no means rich, but we were okay. I was lucky the family had decent incomes. I was unlucky in that we didn't meet the requirements for aid.
I'm not going to say the evening was wasted because I did learn a lot about the process. I did gain a new appreciation for the less fortunate families and I was happy there was some help out there.
College was a lot cheaper between 1979 and 1983. I don't think we spent $12,000 during four years. That buys you a month at most colleges now. I also picked up a part time job when I was a sophomore. It allowed me to take care of expenses like books, gas, pizza, hoagies and clothes.
If you are in the game this year, good luck. I know it isn't easy.