College Prep Kit
Financially Speaking, LLC
REVISED NOVEMBER 2009
SENDING YOUR CHILD OFF TO COLLEGE IS LIKE
SENDING HIM OFF TO HIS FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
BY PREPARING HIM/HER AHEAD OF TIME IS VERY
IMPORTANT SO THAT THEIR COLLEGE YEARS ARE
BOTH REWARDING AND ENJOYABLE FOR THE
LEARNING BEGINS AT A YOUNG AGE TO PREPARE
YOUR CHILD FOR THEIR COLLEGE YEARS.
SEE SOME INFORMATIONAL BOOKS ON THE
FOLLOWING PAGE THAT WILL START PREPARING
YOUR CHILD FOR THEIR EDUCATION.
RECOMMENDED EARLY READING FOR INFANTS AND
WELCOME LITTLE BABY
DESCRIPTION: The first few days of a baby’s life
AUTHOR: PENNY GENTIEU
DESC: Large, adorable photos of expressive baby faces and body languages to
which babies will immediately respond.
AUTHOR: MARGY KNIGHT
DESC: Families around the world welcome babies into their new lives.
I KISSED THE BABY!
AUTHOR: MARY MURPHY
DESC: All the animals make a fuss over the brand new duckling.
AUTHOR: MARGARET WISE BROWN
DESC: Perfect book for bedtime as a little bunny says goodnight to everything
in his room.
AUTHOR: BRUCE DEGEN
DESC: A boy and a bear romp through a yummy, rhyming world of berries.
PEEK A BOO MORNING
AUTHOR: RACHEL ISADORA
DESC: A toddler has a good time playing peek a boo.
I WENT WALKING
AUTHOR: SUE WILLIAMS
DESC: A young boy goes for a walk and keeps your guessing about everything
RECOMMENDED BOOKS AS YOUR CHILD GROWS
AUTHOR: J. FEIFFER
DESC: A dog says meow instead of barking
GEORGE AND MARTHA
AUTHOR: J. MARSHALL
DESC: 5 stories about George and Martha, 2 hippos, who are
the best of friends
AUTHOR: L. BEMELMANS
DESC: 1 of 12 girls who live with Miss Clavell, a loving,
AUTHOR: BETTY MACDONALD
DESC: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside down house and
smells like cookies.
AMBER BROWN IN NOT A CRAYON
BUFFALO BILL AND THE PONY EXPRESS
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN-BOY DETECTIVE
AUTHO: DONALD SOBOL
BABE THE GALLANT PIG
AUTHOR: D. KING-SMITH
AUTHOR: A. CLEMENTS
A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO
AUTHOR: R. PECK
A SINGLE SHARD
AUTHOR: L. PARK
AUTHOR: S. HINTON
AGES 12 +
AMONG THE HIDDEN
THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION (AGES 13-16)
AUTHOR: N. FARMER
SAVING FOR SECONDARY EDUCATION
TYPES OF COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS:
UTMA ACCOUNTS: UNIFORM TRANSFER TO MINORS ACT ACCOUNTS
UTMAS CAN BE SET UP WITH FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND BROKERAGE
FIRMS. YOU CAN BEGIN SAVING WHEN YOUR CHILD IS BORN AND HAS A SO-
CIAL SECURITY NUMBER. A PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS LISTED AS THE CUS-
TODIAN ON THE ACCOUNT UNTIL THE CHILD REACHES THE AGE OF MA-
(18 IN WISCONSIN) ONCE THE CHILD TURNS 18, THE MONEY IS THEIRS TO
USE AS THEY WISH. EVEN IF YOU ARE STILL LISTED AS A CUSTODIAN, THE
CHILD CAN WITHDRAW ANY AMOUNT THEY WISH WITH PROOF OF
IDENTIFICATION, ONCE THEY TURN 18.
REGULAR SAVINGS OR MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS: THESE
ACCOUNTS ARE ALSO SET UP WITH A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION OR
BROKERAGE FIRM. YOU CAN PUT RESTRICTIONS ON THESE SOMETIMES
SO THAT A WITHDRAWAL FROM THE ACCOUNT REQUIRES A PARENT’S
SIGNATURE OR 2 SIGNATURES FOR APPROVAL OF THE WITHDRAWAL. EVEN
IF THE CHILD TURNS AGE 18 AND YOU ARE STILL LISTED AS THE APPROVER,
THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION MUST ABIDE BY THE WITHDRAWAL
REQUIREMENT THAT WAS SET UP FOR THE ACCOUNT.
EDVEST (WISCONSIN’S 529 PLAN):
SEE THE FOLLOWING PAGE REGARDING EDVEST
EdVest is an innovative qualified tuition program that helps families across the country invest for one of their most im-
portant financial goals – their children's education. EdVest is administered by the Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer
and is managed by Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC.
With EdVest, you can open an account on behalf of a designated beneficiary. Your contributions are placed in a trust
fund established by the State of Wisconsin and are directed into special investment portfolios designed and managed
specifically for the program. Earnings in your account will grow federal and state tax-free in Wisconsin, as well as po-
tentially tax-free in other states, until the time your beneficiary is ready to go to college. The funds are then available to
be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses at any eligible school – including two and four-year colleges,
technical, vocational, and graduate schools.
EdVest was designed with families like yours in mind. The features of the EdVest college savings program make it easy
to invest now and use later.
Earnings in your EdVest account grow federal and potentially state tax-free. State income taxes may still
apply for non-Wisconsin residents.
Qualified withdrawals from a 529 plan are federal and potentially state tax-free.
Wisconsin residents owe no state income tax on qualified withdrawals.
Contributions of up to $3,000 per dependent, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, or nephew, per tax year
are deductible from Wisconsin taxable income.
Contributions up to $65,000 may be excluded from federal gift tax pro rata over a five-year period.1
Completed gifts are considered removed from your estate for tax purposes, while as the account owner,
you still retain control of the account.
Flexible Contribution Options
Start building your account with an automatic investment plan or payroll direct deposit of just $15 a
A low initial contribution of only $250 is required to open an account, and it's waived with an automatic
Contribute up to $330,000 for a single beneficiary.
Convenient methods of contributing – check, electronic funds transfer, Federal Wire, automatic invest-
ment, and payroll deduction.
Professional Money Management
The Wisconsin College Savings Program Board and the Wisconsin State Treasurer oversee the program.
Wells Fargo Funds Management provides administration for the program.
Investment options include underlying investments managed by Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC,
Legg Mason Capital Management, Inc., Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, and The Vanguard Group.
Use the money at thousands of eligible schools in the U.S. (and even some abroad) – including graduate
Use the money in your account for a wide range of educational expenses including tuition, fees, books,
even room and board expenses.
A program of regular investment cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.
If a donor contributes more than $13,000 in one year, and elects to apply the gift tax exclusion ratably over
five years, but dies before the close of the five-year period, the portion allocable to calendar years beginning
after the date of death is included in the decedent’s estate.
TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
ELIGIBILITY IN WISCONSIN:
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR STATE FINANCIAL AID IN
WISCONSIN, A STUDENT MUST:
Be a resident of the state of Wisconsin
Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or certificate program
Be attending a non-profit college or university based in Wisconsin
The free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form must be
filled out and submitted online at http://wwww.fafsa.ed.gov
Paper copies are available at the college and university financial aid
offices and at the high school guidance offices.
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID IF…..
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH THE SELECTIVE
SERVICES AND YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED.
YOU ARE LISTED ON THE STATE WORKPLACE DEVELOPMENT’S
LIST OF CHILD SUPPORT LIEN DOCKET, UNLESS YOU HAVE AN
APPROVED PAYMENT PLAN. (STUDENTS ON THE LIEN DOCKET
MAY STILL RECEIVE AES AND STATE LOANS)
GRANTS ARE “GIFT” AID AND THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE
REPAID. ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS IS PRIMARILY BASED
ON FINANCIAL AID AND EACH GRANT PROGRAM HAS
SPECIFIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
SOME WISCONSIN GRANTS AVAILABLE ARE:
WISCONSIN HIGHER EDUCATION GRANT-CAN RECEIVE
NOT LESS THAN $250 AND NOT MORE THAN $3000
WISCONSIN TUITION GRANT-CANNOT RECEIVE LESS THAN
TALENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM GRANT- (TIP) $600-1800 FOR
INITIAL GRANT AND $250 MINIMUM CONTINUING GRANT
INDIAN STUDENT ASSISTANCE GRANT-MUST BE AT LEAST
25% NATIVE AMERICAN TO RECEIVE THIS GRANT.
AWARDS ARE $250-$2500.00.
MINORITY UNDERGRADUATE ASSISTANCE GRANT-AWARDS
HEARING AND VISUALLY HANDICAPPED STUDENT GRANT-
AWARDS ARE $2500-$1800.00.
SEE MORE ABOUT THESE GRANTS AT
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE ALSO “GIFT” AID AND DO NOT
HAVE TO BE REPAID. UNLIKE GRANTS, THEY ARE
USUALLY BASED ON MERIT OR ACHIEVEMENT AND
NOT FINANCIAL NEED. TOO MANY SCHOLRSHIPS
GO UN-APPLIED FOR, SO WATCH FOR ALL
THE WISCONSIN ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
SCHOLARSHIP IS AWARDED TO THE HIGH SCHOOL
SENIORS IN EACH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE HIGH
SCHOOL WITH THE HIGHEST GPA. AWARD IS UP TO
$2250.00 FOR FULL TIME TUITION.
THERE ARE MANY MORE SCHOLARSHIP
OPPORTUNITES AVAILABLE THROUGH THE
UNIVERSITY FINANCIAL AID OFFICES AND HIGH
SCHOOL GUIDANCE OFFICES. CHECK OUT ALL
OPPORTUNTIES. THIS IS FREE MONEY!
IF YOUR CHILD HAS AN ABOVE AVERAGE GPA, MAKE SURE
THEY ARE APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS, AS THIS CAN
GREATLY REDUCE THE AMOUNT YOU PAY OR YOU OR YOUR
CHILD BORROWS ON STUDENT LOANS. SOME
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE RENEWABLE FOR FOLLOWING YEARS
SOMETIMES, EVEN WITH COMMITTED SAVING FOR
OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION, THERE MAY BE A
NEED FOR STUDENT LOANS. MOST STUDENT LOANS
ARE AT AN ATTRACTIVE RATE, THOUGH, USUALLY A
VARIABLE RATE THAT CAN CHANGE AT LEAST
THERE ARE SEVERAL GOVERNMENT STUDENT
LOANS, HOWEVER, IT IS HARDER THESE DAYS TO
QUALIFY FOR THESE LOANS IF THE PARENTS/CHILD
ARE MAKING GOOD INCOMES AND THERE ARE
ABOVE AVERAGE SAVINGS AND CHECKING
HOWEVER, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SOMETIMES
HAVE THEIR OWN “PRIVATE” OR COLLEGIATE LOAN
PROGRAMS THAT STUDENTS CAN QUALIFY FOR, IF
THEY DO NOT QUALIFY FOR THE STANDARD
STAFFORD OR PLUS LOANS THROUGH THE
TYPICALLY, MOST STUDENT LOANS WILL HAVE A
DEFERMENT PERIOD FOR PAYMENTS WHILE THE
STUDENT IS IN SCHOOL, ON AT LEAST A HALF TIME
BASIS. ALSO, MOST OF THEM DO NOT REQUIRE THE
STUDENT TO START REPAYMENT UNTIL 6 MONTHS
AFTER COLLEGE OR SECONDARY SCHOOL
GRADUATION. THERE ARE SOME EXCEPTIONS TO
THESE RULES, HOWEVER. SEE NEXT SECTION.
GOVERNMENT SPONSORED STUDENT LOANS
LOANS FOR THE UNDERGRADUATE
STAFFORD LOAN: These loans are backed by the US Government, but
offered through private lenders, like your community bank. These are the
best place to start because they have a low, fixed interest rate. You must
complete the FAFSA form prior to applying. You can borrow up to $5500
your first year. You do not have to repay the loan until 6 months after you
leave school or drop below 1/2 time status. The school gets the money twice/
year and will distribute any excess funds directly to you.
FEDERAL PLUS LOANS: These loans are made to the parents of
dependent children. Parents can apply up to the amount of total education
expenses, minus any other financial aid received. Parents can defer payments
while the student is in school. These loans have a fixed rate and may be tax
HOME EQUITY LINES/LOANS: These loans are typically made to parents
who have sufficient equity in their home. In most cases the interest is tax
deductible. Talk to your banker for rates and terms.
PRIVATE LOANS FOR THE UNDERGRADUATE AND
Some of the larger financial institutions, offer their own
Collegiate or educational loans. These are good to check into
when you do not qualify for the Stafford loans. Many of them
have similar rates to the government programs. Two
institutions that Financially Speaking is familiar with are
Wells Fargo and Chase. Both of these reputable institutions
offer these types of private loan programs. Some of them
have loan amounts of up to $25,000 per year for educational
Please check out their websites for more information on these
YOUR STUDENT MAY NEED A COSIGNER IF THEY DO
NOT HAVE ANY OR HAVE LIMITED CREDIT
ESTABLISHED. BE PREPARED TO COSIGN OR IF YOU
HAVE TARNISHED CREDIT, CHECK INTO ANOTHER
POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE FOR A CO-SIGNER FOR
YOUR CHILD’S LOAN(S).
HOW DO WE START PLANNING FOR OUR
CHILD’S SECONDARY EDUCATION?
SOME REFERENCE MATERIALS TO GET YOU
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND REFERENCE:
PREPARING MY CHILD FOR SCHOOL
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR GIFTED CHILD:
FIND THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN YOUR AREA
FIND STATE CHARTER SCHOOLS
FIND THE BEST SCHOOLS IN YOUR AREA
THE SCHOOL REPORT
ABOUT HOME SCHOOLING
COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLIST
DURING JUNIOR YEAR WWW.OFFTOCOLLEGE.COM/PREP
WHY GO TO COLLEGE? JR. YEAR FALL SEMESTER
MAKE A PERSONAL JR. YEAR FALL SEMESTER
DECIDE ON KIND OF MAJOR JR. YEAR FALL SEMESTER
MEET WITH H.S. JR. YEAR FALL SEMESTER
REVIEW FOR ADMISSION JR. WINTER SEMESTER
COLLEGE SEARCH JR. SPRING SEMESTER
VISIT COLLEGE CAMPUS JR. SPRING SEMESTER
COLLECT COLLEGE JUNIOR-SENIOR YEAR
PREPARE COLLEGE SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER
WRITE YOUR ESSAYS SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER
GET LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER
SUBMIT COLLEGE NOVEMBER-JANUARY
UNDERSTAND COLLEGE NOVEMBER
REVIEW FINANCIAL AID NOVEMBER-JANUARY
FOLLOW THE MONEY PATH NOVEMBER-JANUARY
SUBMIT FAFSA AND JANUARY
APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID MAY-SEPTEMBER
DEVELOP GOOD COLLEGE ON-GOING
FIND A SUMMER JOB MARCH-MAY
GET MOVING TO COLLEGE MARCH-SEPTEMBER
COLLEGE SEARCH-UNDERSTANDING TYPES OF SCHOOLS
COLLEGES: Generally smaller in size. They offer 4 year
degree programs (BA and BS) and many 2 year Associate
UNIVERSITIES: Larger institutions with specialized degrees in busi-
ness, engineering, pre-med, etc. They offer 2 year, 4 year and many
graduate and professional degrees.
COMMUNITY/JUNIOR COLLEGES: A small college
offering 2 year Associate degrees. Many students attend local com-
munity colleges with the intent to transfer to a larger
institution to further their education.
ONLINE SCHOOLS: Programs and degrees that can be taken
online. The advantage of these programs is that you can take classes
from inside your home. These programs are great for part time stu-
dents and continuing education.
VOCATIONAL/CAREER SCHOOLS: Specialized schools of train-
ing for specialized trade jobs such as mechanics, computer
Technicians, medical assistants, etc. Programs may vary requiring
only a few weeks to complete while others may require a year or
more. Upon completion, graduates will receive a license, certificate
or an Associate Degree.
HOW SHOULD I BEGIN MY COLLEGE SEARCH?
There are 3 categories of schools you should list:
2-3 SCHOOLS THAT YOU COULD DEFINITELY GET IN
4-5 SCHOOLS THAT YOU COULD PROBABLY GET IN
7-8 SCHOOLS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET IN
YOU SHOULD BUDGET ON HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD
FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION. IF THE APPLICATION
SUBMISSION COSTS FOR 16 OR MORE SCHOOLS MAY BE
TOO MUCH, NARROW YOUR SEARCH TO 3-3-3.
COLLEGE APPLICATION CHECKLIST
Record College Admission Tasks
LIST 3 SCHOOLS YOU CAN DEFINITELY GET IN
LIST 3 SCHOOLS THAT YOU WOULD PROBABLY GET IN
LIST 3-6 SCHOOLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET IN
CHECK EACH TASK AS COMPLETED BY SCHOOL
APPLICATION MATERIALS RECEIVED __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
CAMPUS REVIEW/VISIT COMPLETED __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
COST COMPARISON OF SCHOOLS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
ENTRANCE REQUIRE.REVIEWED __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
WRITE REQUIRED ESSAYS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
REQUEST TEACHER/COUNSOLOR RECOMMENDATIONS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
SEND TRANSCRIPTS AND 1ST SEMESTER GRADES __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
SUBMIT FINANCIAL AID FORMS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
SUBMIT SCHOLARSHIP FORMS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
ARRANGE HOUSING __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
OTHER __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
OTHER __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
COLLEGE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
School MIN. MIN. MIN. OTHER FILING #OF #OF SPECIAL
GPA SAT ACT DEAD. ESSAYS RECOMM. REQUIREMENTS
1. What are the trends in the cost of college education?
For the 2007-08 academic year, annual prices for undergraduate tuition, room
and board were estimated to be $11,578 at public institutions and $29, 915 at
private institutions. Between 1997-98 and 2007-08, prices for undergraduate
tuition, room and board at public institutions rose by 30%, after
adjusting for inflation.
2. What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based
on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial
3. Do you have any information of the race/ethnicity of college and university
faculty and staff?
In fall of 2007, minorities made up 17% of US faculty. 7% were black, 6%
were Asian/Pacific Islander, 4% were Hispanic and 1% were American
Indian/Alaska Native. About 4/5 of the faculty were White, with 43% being
white males and 36% being white females.
4. What are the most popular majors for students?
Of the 1,524,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2006-07, the largest numbers
of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (328,000), social sciences
and history (164,000), education (106,000), and health sciences (102,000).
5. What is the average income for high school and college graduates?
Measured in constant 2006 dollars, median earnings for young adults ages 25-
34 who worked full time throughout a full year increased as education level
increased. A female in year 2006 at all education levels earned a median in-
come of $31,800, with a high school diploma or GED, females earned an aver-
age of $24,000 and with a bachelor’s degree or higher, females earned an aver-
age of $41,000. Males in 2006 at all education levels earned an average of
$37,000 , with a high school diploma or GED-$30,000 and with a bachelors
degree or higher-$50,000.
FAST FACTS, CONTINUED
6. Which colleges have the highest enrollment?
The University of Wisconsin, Madison, ranks 16 in the top 20 for an
enrollment of 41,028 in 2006. The largest college by enrollment is the
University of Phoenix, Online Campus with total enrollment of 165,373. The
2nd largest college by enrollment in 2006 was Ohio State University, with
7. Do you have any statistics on financial aid for post secondary
66% of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid in 2007-08. For
those who received any aid, the total average amount received was $9,100.
52% received grants averaging $4,900 and 38% took out an average of $7,100
in student loans. 7% received aid through work-study jobs that averaged
$2,400 in wages. 2% received an average of $5,400 in veteran’s benefits and $
% had parents who took out an average of $10,800 in Parent PLUS loans.
47% of all undergraduates received federal student aid in 2007-08 for an av-
erage amount of $6,600. 16% received an average of $2,500 in state funded
grants and 20% received an average of $5,000 in grants funded by the post-
secondary institution they attended. In 2007-08, Federal Pell Grants were
awarded to 27% of all undergraduates at an average of $2,600 and 34% of all
undergraduates gook out Federal Stafford loans averaging a total of $5,000.
Subsidized Stafford loans were received by 30% of undergraduates and aver-
ages $3,400, while 22% received an average of $3,200 in unsubsidized Stafford
8. How long does it take students at colleges and universities to finish their
On average, 1st time recipients of bachelors degrees in 1999-2000 who had not
stopped out of college for 6 months ore more took about 55 months from first
enrollment to degree completion. Graduates who had attended multiple
institutions took longer.
SOME HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR YOU
BUDGETING AND CREDIT HELP
Make sure you prepare a college budget and act responsibly with
your credit, now that you are an adult. Here are a few tips about
Remember to subtract all debit and ATM withdrawals from your
checkbook register immediately.
Remember to balance your checking and savings accounts. If you
regularly bounce checks, your bank could close your account and it
is reported to a credit reporting agency. You may not be able to
open another account for several years.
Pay your credit card bills off totally each month. Do not spend
more each month than you can afford to pay back. Once you get
into too much credit card debt, it is hard to recover.
Contact Financially Speaking, LLC for a financial consultation
about budgeting and credit 3-6 months prior to leaving for college.
Have fun in college, but act responsibly with your financial life and
your personal life. Remember, you and/or your parents are paying
for a quality education.
BEST WISHES FOR YOUR FUTURE!
THIS PAMPHLET WAS PUBLISHED BY
FINANCIALLY SPEAKING, LLC
(NOT FOR SALE OR REPRODUCTION)