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Old 2018-10-17, 20:07   #78
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  • Figure out how to withdraw funds from our/my 529 account (from what I can tell it's a college savings account for your kids), since I won't be needing most of the money that is in there
Consult an expert. You may want to hang on to that money in the account. If you decide to get a more advanced degree, you should be able to draw on the money. (Don't know if your scholarship covers >4 years.) Also, look at all expenses you might have that are not covered by the scholarship, but might be considered to be related to the schooling (transport to and from, food, study materials other than books, fees for online database access, etc.). These little sneaky ones can slowly add up. You might be able to use the 529 to pay for them.

I have some family members that I wish would start some 529's, so I could give them money to put in.
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Old 2018-10-19, 00:56   #79
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Consult an expert. You may want to hang on to that money in the account. If you decide to get a more advanced degree, you should be able to draw on the money. (Don't know if your scholarship covers >4 years.) Also, look at all expenses you might have that are not covered by the scholarship, but might be considered to be related to the schooling (transport to and from, food, study materials other than books, fees for online database access, etc.). These little sneaky ones can slowly add up. You might be able to use the 529 to pay for them.

I have some family members that I wish would start some 529's, so I could give them money to put in.
I haven’t really considered college past 4 years, since most engineering programs are bachelor’s degrees. But you make a good point! I don’t think that I meant that we were going to take all of it out (maybe I did ). The scholarship covers 4 years of tuition, room/board, a meal plan, and basically everything else except books. So if I don’t find any book scholarships then that’ll come out of the 529. I’ll look into what else could apply, because it seems that they would love to nickel-and-dime me for a bunch of money ($240 deposit to sign my U of A housing contract?!).
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Old 2018-10-20, 01:02   #80
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They had every senior apply to the local community college today. The best thing was that they had preprinted acceptance letters for everyone after their application was done!

It looks like more than a couple people from my school will be going to the U of A, one of my friends recently got accepted. On the plus side, I know quite a few people from ASMSA will be there; the university has a special fellowship that gives out up to 90 scholarships for full tuition, room/board, etc. 4 or 5 of my senior friends from last year got it this summer and are attending there now.
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Old 2018-10-20, 21:41   #81
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I did a bit of research and the general consensus is that applying to higher-ranked schools becomes more of a lottery once you reach the point where everyone is equal in qualification (perfect GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, etc.).
The key to getting into one of those places is to have something that's different from the pack. You do need good grades and test scores, but it doesn't matter past a certain point - a 3.8 unweighted GPA and 1500 SAT is just as good as a perfect 4.0 unweighted GPA and 1600 SAT.

You can stand out from the pack by being a nationally ranked football star, but a more realistic option for us mortals is to have a unique set of interests. Don't be one of those dime-in-a dozen, sleep-deprived zombies that drag themselves to zero-period music or debate because they think it makes them look good on their college apps or because their parents forced them to.

Think outside the box and show admission officers what your unique passions are and how you overcame obstacles to achieve them. Maybe you're the kid whose parents were too poor or busy to take you places, but you've always wanted to explore the country, find out what's behind those mountain ranges, and wonder what the view would be like from the top. Did you take things into your own hands and earn money doing side gigs during summers and weekends? Did you take it further and use that money to build an ultralight aircraft, learn to fly it, and realize your dreams? If so, that's one heck of a story and a much better use of your time than trying to raise your ACT from an already good 34 to a perfect 36. And even if you're rejected, you'll remember that experience a lot more fondly for the rest of your life than going through the grind to get a perfect grade in a subject you have little interest in but are required to take.

Or perhaps you're the kid who always loved snowboarding but lived in a warm climate with plenty of sand and no snow. Did you make the best of your situation, build your own boards, and try sandboarding instead? Did you like it, get good at it, and maybe even try out for the sandboarding world championship? In the process, what lessons did you learn in determination, perseverance, and dealing with failure? While you may not get as many points as a high school swimmer who made it to the Olympics, it certainly beats doing something conventional like joining the tennis team for a few years and being just a regular player.
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Old 2018-10-20, 23:18   #82
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While you may not get as many points as a high school swimmer who made it to the Olympics, it certainly beats doing something conventional like joining the tennis team for a few years and being just a regular player.
Just putting this out there for consideration...

Getting a degree doesn't guarantee you a good job. Particularly an undergraduate degree.

And if you don't "win" a scholarship, the costs associated with a degree could hinder you for many, many years.

Consider vocational. Electricians, for example, tend to earn serious coin.

Last fiddled with by chalsall on 2018-10-20 at 23:28 Reason: s/you good job/you a good job/; # English is hard....
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Old 2018-10-23, 01:22   #83
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Consider vocational. Electricians, for example, tend to earn serious coin.
Electrical linemen, plumbers, and other "trade school" jobs also make good money.
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Old 2018-10-24, 04:08   #84
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The University of Southern Califonia, which I believe is rather selective (18% acceptance rate), has a special engineering college, the Viterbi School of Engineering. From what I can tell it has an internationally recognized curriculum, so I might throw an application their way if I lean towards engineering. Nice facilities too
The cost of going to USC is insanely high, but I was lucky enough to graduate from Viterbi a few years ago without taking a single student loan. I did it though a combination of financial aid, scholarships, work study, and various tricks such as living off campus and using old editions of textbooks. You might be able to do the same for other colleges you're interested in that have a high sticker price.
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Old 2018-10-25, 08:19   #85
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It looks like more than a couple people from my school will be going to the U of A, one of my friends recently got accepted. On the plus side,...
You make it sound as if you don't want your school friends at university with you!
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Old 2018-11-23, 15:30   #86
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The Arkansas Department of Higher Education requires you to fill out a big form to get many in-state grants and scholarships. I went ahead and filled it out, and in addition to the scholarship that’ll get me free tuition, it signed me up for 2 grants that I’m probably eligible for. One is a “first come, first served” grant for students getting degrees in high-demand fields (engineering is included), and the other is some silly lottery sort of thing. It doesn’t matter whether I actually get either one; the MDS scholarship subtracts any other scholarships you get from what it gives you, so if I get a $10,000 grant/scholarship, I get $10,000 less from the MDS...

Now I have to send them a bunch of documents to be fully eligible, but I have 8 months to do it
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