From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/2/2006 3:11:52 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--February 2006

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- February 2006
College Financial Aid

Dear Friends,

February is here, and the school year keeps rolling along. As a
homeschooling parent of a high schooler, you continue to be busy with
teaching, driving, and most of all...praying! We've enjoyed speaking
to many of our HSLDA members as you've called or emailed us with your
questions. You have our respect and admiration as you train up your
children in the way they should go.

We know that your time is precious, so we are glad to do anything we
can to make your job a bit easier, save you minutes, and perhaps find
you some money. Now that we have your attention...

This month's newsletter topic is College Financial Aid. We hope the
information we provide below is beneficial for you, and points you in
the right direction to search out whatever additional details you may
need. If your child is not planning on attending college, you may
want to just keep the information handy for later reference if his
plans change, or you may want to pass on the information to another
homeschooling family who may find the information helpful.

Money for college is a big concern for many parents. Tuition and
related college costs can put a financial strain on any family's
budget. So it is important that you research and become familiar with
sources of aid that can help you pay your child's anticipated college

College financial aid falls into three basic categories:

1. Scholarships and grants: This is "free" money that does not need to
be repaid. Scholarships may be given by private organizations,
employers, etc., or the colleges themselves. Scholarships can be
awarded on the basis of either financial need or on merit.

2. Loans: This is money that is lent directly to the student or to the
parent. Loans, of course, need to be repaid at some point in the
future. Colleges, banks, credit unions, and federal and state
governments make money available to students (usually at low interest
rates) for college expenses. Depending on the type of loan, some loan
payments are deferred meaning that repayment is not required until the
student has graduated from college or when the student ceases to be a
full time student.

3. Work study: As part of the financial aid package that some colleges
award, they may offer your child an opportunity to work part time in
order to cover some of his college expenses.

By far, the most important thing to remember about applying for
college financial aid is DEADLINES. (Interestingly, the word deadline
comes from an old term meaning a line drawn within or around a prison
that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot. Missing a financial
aid deadline will not get you shot (!), but you may definitely lose
out on possible sources of money should you miss a deadline.)

Almost all colleges require that a student complete and submit the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid commonly known as FAFSA (once
the initial FAFSA is submitted, a renewal form is then submitted every
year the student applies for aid). A parent with a student enrolling
in college in September of 2006 can fill out the 2006 FAFSA form
anytime after January 1, 2006--you do not need to wait until your
student is accepted at a university to fill out the FAFSA. Since the
FAFSA form is the most important form colleges use to determine
need-based financial aid, completing the FAFSA should be high on your
priority list. Financial information supplied on the FAFSA form by
you will then be calculated and the government will provide you with
the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that
the government believes your family can contribute towards college
costs. Colleges use the EFC amount to then calculate the amount of
need-based financial aid they will award your student.

Completing the FAFSA online is recommended since you will be prompted
should you not fill out the form properly or if you've left an item
blank by mistake. Also, notification of the EFC is usually available
within 3 days using the online application. If the FAFSA is filled
out manually the results are usually not available for six weeks.
Paper FAFSA forms are available from public libraries and public
See for an online FAFSA application and for
further details and information.

It is extremely important to contact the Financial Aid office of any
college that your child is interested in applying to and ask them what
additional financial aid applications besides the FAFSA must be
completed and what the deadlines are for submission. Some colleges may
have their own specific institutional financial aid application that
needs to be completed. In addition to the FAFSA, some colleges
require the Profile (available at the College Board website: online application


This is the "free" money - money given with no requirement for
repayment that everyone would love to receive. Check with your
employer, civic and community organizations, or organizations that
your child is involved in (Scouting, 4-H, etc.) to determine if they
make any college scholarships available. Some Christian colleges
provide scholarships especially for homeschooled students. See the
scholarship section of HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School website
for resources that provide you with possible sources of scholarships,
as well as the contest/competition section for opportunities to win
money awards:

College Loans

Should you need to consider taking out loans for your child's college
expenses, check out the College Board's website for an explanation of
the various loans that can be used for educational purposes including
Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and the College Board
Connect Loan.,,6-33-0-25523,00.html

Your local bank can also explain to you other educational loans that
are available.

Don't be intimidated by the paperwork involved with securing financial
aid. Be diligent, watch those deadlines, and depend on and trust the
Lord to go before you as you complete applications. And remember,
ultimately the Lord is your provider--He owns the cattle on a thousand
hills, and He will make a way for His purposes to be carried out in
your child's life--including paying the college bills if that is how
He is leading your family.

A Few Words of Advice

Have your child apply to any college (private or public) that he or
she is interested in attending. Do not let the tuition cost prevent
you from considering any school. Experience has shown that a higher
tuition cost at a private school is sometimes offset by that school
offering a larger financial aid package than a public school.

Other than scholarship money, another way to save on college costs is
to consider distance learning courses taken online from home. An
accumulation of these credits allows the student the opportunity to
shorten his or her on campus expenses by transferring into the school
of his or her choice.

Many homeschooling families utilize their community colleges to cut
the cost of a college degree. Either by taking general education
requirement courses or by acquiring a two-year degree, these students
are then eligible to transfer to a four-year institution to complete
their degree. A plus to this option is the opportunity afforded your
student to make a slow transition from home to college while still
under your roof.

Next month's Homeschooling Thru High School email newsletter will be
Options Other Than College. We'll explore the various opportunities
available for students who do not plan to pursue college, as well as
provide you with helpful resources as you direct your child's post
high school plans.

Until then, we carry you in our hearts and on our minds. Remember
that "Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up."
("God's Little Instruction Book, by Honor Books"). Available online at 2815 .

With joy to you,
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer

What's New on the Homeschooling Thru High School website:

The Lukeion Project--Archeology Courses

Military Academies--summer sessions to high school juniors (prior to
their senior year).

Personality/Aptitude/Career Tests
The Call--A Career Assessment tool recommended by Focus on the Family

Math--Classmate Math

-> Who's knocking on your door?

When a social service worker arrives at your door, tension can run
high. Wouldn't it be nice to get your lawyer on the phone,
providing you with immediate step-by-step guidance?

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

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