Hi! I’m a 30-something Mom of two, working from home as a full-time freelance writer. I’m recovering from debt accrued as a result of my divorce, and working hard to pay student loan debt off, too!
Many of us are in massive amounts of student loan debt. I went to school online in the early 2000s, and I’m nowhere near paying those loans off. Here’s how I have made progress paying off student loan debt.
How perfect for us to find out that not 1, not 2 but 3 of my kiddos will be attending college with NO out of pocket costs beginning in January during No Spend Month!
Sea Cadet will continue with his Advanced EMT program at the local technical college. He has completed the basic EMS courses and could technically get a job in it now. But plans to complete the Advanced Certification, which will take through August.
Sea Cadet and I at a recent family wedding
Because he (and History Buff) were a special needs adoption, the government kicks in to help pay for his college. Thusfar, the amount provided per semester has covered ALL expenses including tuition, books and even supplies (uniform, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, etc.) We anticipate that he will be able to complete this program with no out of pocket costs.
Most readers know that Princess is exceptionally bright AND she works very hard on her schoolwork. In preparation for what I thought would be a Fall, 2019 entrance to the dual enrollment program, I had her take the entrance exams (taken if the student has not taken the SAT or ACT yet.) I figured it would give me a baseline on what we needed to focus on to get her ready.
The advisor called last week with the surprise news that not only did Princess complete the normally 3-4 hours test in 1 hour and twenty minutes, but she passed at the highest level. She can begin taking Diploma level courses immediately. Can you say Proud Mom!?!
I immediately registered her for two of the local colleges, because she is interested in two different programs. We received her acceptance email to one of them this past Friday and she will be registered for the Spring, 2019 semester as a dual enrolled high school student. She will be earning both high school and college credits and IT’S FREE!
Dual enrolled students can be registered for two different colleges and take up to 15 hours per semester during this dual enrollment time. She won’t graduate from high school until May, 2021. Just think about how much college she can have under her belt by then?
History Buff has one more year of high school. He dropped out before completing the 1st semester of his senior year. While he has taken the ACT, he didn’t score high enough on the math part to presume acceptance to the dual enrollment program. He took the entrance exam for math last night and did well enough to start!
We have applied to the same two schools for him as we did for Princess. (Yes, I am definitely thinking about transportation for Princess.) Barring any problems with grades over the next couple of semesters, History Buff will graduate from high school December, 2019. And he could potentially have 30+ hours of college completed at no out of pocket cost.
Since hearing about the opportunity for free dual enrollment in Georgia, it was an important factor in my decision to move and now stay here. Having my own student loan debt, I have always had a personal goal to get my kids through their advanced training (college or otherwise) with no debt.
And I realize that as a single mom and with my current financial status, I will not be able to really help them financially. But what I can do is guide them through wise financial decisions, apply for scholarships and grants and minimize the costs as much as possible.
The basic steps I/we are taking towards this are:
Encourage the kids to live at home as long as it makes sense logistically while in school.
Take advantage of as much FREE dual enrollment for each child as we can.
Apply for scholarships year round.
Make the kids be responsible for some part of their living expenses, and thus work a job. Learn to manage their money now before it becomes solely up to them.
Does your state offer free dual enrollment? Tell me your success stories when it comes to minimizing college costs.