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Schoolhouse Review: College Common Sense

College Common Sense
I remember when the word ‘college’ seemed so far away. It was something in the distant future, not anymore. My oldest son Josh is now in 9th grade. My where-oh-where did the time go. It leaves me thinking that I better get on the ball with preparing my children for college, especially when it comes to paying for it.

What a blessing to find that the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the chance to review College Common Sense! Thankfully a lovely lady by the name of Denise Ames has put something together for us already busy  parents.  She has over 10 years experience with working in the Financial Aid office at a university in Texas, so she knows how the process works.

We were blessed with a one year subscription to Going to College and Paying for it Online Video and Workbook’. We received the online version but if you prefer to have this in DVD format to watch and listen to year after year (which some people do), the price is $50.00 + $5.00 shipping and handling. The online version is $25.00 for a 12 month log-in access. 

College Common Sense has 6 videos. Each about 20 minutes.
Video 1~The Big Picture
Video 2~ How Financial Aid Works
Video 3~ All About the Free Money
Video 4~ The System That Works
Video 5~ You in the Process
Video 6~ Pull It All Together

Each video has corresponding workbook pages in pdf format. I printed them all out before starting and had them spiral bound, so I wouldn’t lose any pages and it would be easier for Joshua as well.
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Prior to starting I signed up to receive the Free Lesson Plans that Denise so generously offers. The lesson plans are delivered via email the first week each month.

College Common Sense is not only for high schoolers, surprisingly one can start earning ‘free’ money for your child as early as 6 years old. With children ages 6-12 or 13 it is expected that mom and dad watch the videos or DVDs. Children ages 14-18 are expected to watch the videos.

Younger students can participate by making an All About Me Spiral Notebook. This is their special notebook to write anything about themselves. It’s not for anyone else to look at or grade, it’s their special notebook. I had the children work on their notebooks once a week.

Whether you have a 6 year old child beginning school or a 17/18 year old high school senior you and your child can get started with Going to College and Paying for it.

How did we use College Common Sense?

The program is meant for the parent to watch the DVD and then have the student do the same and work through the workbook. Well I must admit that I have been the one watching most of the videos. Joshua my oldest was a bit overwhelmed with all the information.

CollegecommonsenseworkbookI would watch the video and I’d read through the workbook pages with Josh and sometimes the younger children. One of the assignments was to take a tour of the campus. We didn’t take the tour but I did go over the information with Joshua. Denise does a great job with getting everything organized and breaks things down into steps. To prepare for the campus visit she has a detailed list of what to do “Before the visit”~”During the visit”~”After the visit”.

There is also a list of questions to ask before you apply to a college or university. I went over this with all the children. Another assignment was going over “12 Ways Not to Choose a College”. Again, this was something that I could include all the children.

My final thoughts: Denise does a wonderful job with guiding parents and students through the maze of scholarships, financial aid, and what to and what not to do, to get you noticed. She is also honest with letting you know that it takes time, dedication, and most of all as she says, “It’s up to you”, you need to learn as much as you can to get free money for college.  

If you plan to have your child attend college and are wondering how to pay for it, then I recommend you give “Going to College and Paying for it” a try. $25.00 for 12 months access to watch the videos  is not bad for all the information Denise provides.

There is a lot of information to absorb so I suggest watching and listening to the videos more than once.

I would love it if Cds were available for purchase as well. This would be a great way to have the children and hubby listen to Denise, especially on those long car rides. I can guarantee that if we had the videos in CD format all my children would have listened to “Going to College and Paying for it” already and probably multiple times.
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**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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