Navigating College Decisions with Elisia Howard – Episode 170

March 2, 2020

Delaying your college application a few months could cost you $20,000! This is just one of the many things we learned during our conversation with Certified College Counselor, Elisia Howard. She has been in education for fifteen years and worked in college admissions for five years before starting College Insights in 2015. At College Insights, Elisia helps students navigate college decisions through academic advising, resume building, and applying to the right schools. She is passionate about students avoiding the crippling financial burdens that tend to accompany student loans, so this is a really valuable conversation for anyone considering college, for students who are currently in school, and even for graduates who already have student loans as we cover that as well.

Start with Fastweb and Scholly if you’re looking for scholarships, but definitely check out College Insights as Elisia’s company has some great free resources. If time is of the essence, then give them a call at 425-507-9069 and you can find them on LinkedIn, Instagram, and FB.

Another related post you may like: Is college worth it? We run through a bunch of pros and cons to figure out if college is even a good move for you in the first place! Also we’ve listed out the best ways to save money in college, so you aren’t riddled with debt after graduating!

During this episode we enjoyed a Hop-Fu! by North Park Beer Co – a big thanks to John for donating this beer to the show! And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe and give us a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us to spread the word to get more people doing smart things with their money!

Best friends out!

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3 comments on “Navigating College Decisions with Elisia Howard – Episode 170

  1. Teresa Mar 2, 2020

    I have a daughter in college and one in high school. One of the best things I did with my eldest, and which I strongly recommend for parents, was to have a frank conversation about the family’s education budget during Junior year of high school.

    I calculated how much my spouse and I could reasonably afford to contribute from savings, how much we could give from income, how much our daughter could borrow on her own, and how much (if anything) my spouse and I would be willing to borrow.

    I then sat her down and explained the numbers. Having a good understanding of the financial limitations allowed her to feel much more in control of her college choice. She could apply to more schools that were more likely to offer her scholarships that would bring the net price within our budget and she could choose any school that accepted her as long as the school was within our budget.

    When acceptances came in, one school had a net price outside our budget. Instead of being upset, she laughed and said, “I’m not going there!”

    And when she preferred one school that wasn’t the cheapest option, I was able to say, “No, it’s not the cheapest option, but it’s within our budget. If that’s where you want to go, then go there.”

    Something else that’s important for keeping costs low is to encourage the student to graduate in 4 years. This can be difficult for students in challenging majors, students at schools where it’s hard to register for required courses, and when students don’t have enough guidance on registering for the correct courses to meet curriculum requirements. But graduating in 4 years can save 20%+ over the cost of taking 5 years to complete the same degree (many scholarships are only renewable for 4 years).

    • That is some really helpful advice Teresa, thanks for the feedback! Hearing from folks who have already navigated these waters with their own kids is really cool- sounds like you’ve done a great job talking about money in a healthy way in your household.

  2. Erica Mar 8, 2020

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE IF YOU LIVE IN WASHINGTON STATE do your own research into in-state college tuition and the cost of living in OTHER parts of Washington State. (There’s a whole lotta state there east of the Cascades.) College costs are often talked about in three different ways: tuition, tuition+fees, total cost of attendance. There is no public university in the State of Washington where *tuition* is 30k/year.
    Also, for low to moderate income families there is NEW money coming from the State of Washington to help pay for school.