Funding Your Education: Start Early and Cast a Wide Net
  • Education
  • Financial Assistance
  • Youth

High school students preparing for college are faced with the challenge of figuring out what their total educational costs will be for their freshman year. Each institution states their cost of attendance differently. Colleges can show their costs by number of units, by semester or by year. This is made more difficult to understand when colleges don’t include everything on the same page, such as extra fees, health insurance, loan costs, and additional program expenses.

students in library

Students may get lost in the excitement of getting accepted to their chosen school, and don’t consider whether their dream school will be an affordable choice. They may readily accept their college choice, only to receive their financial aid packet, and realize they have to scramble to find other funding sources to cover their costs.

Michelle Lamphere, Director of the Financial Aid Center at JFCS, recommends families to start planning early on how they’ll pay for college tuition, room and board, books and transportation.

The National Center for Education Statistics provides a helpful tools and resources section on its website called College Navigator. It gives valuable information, a net price calculator, and side-by-side comparisons of college costs of different schools. This popular tool will help you make the right decision based on your financial situation.

Michelle continues to say that families should do the preliminary footwork to finance their young adult’s education. However, students should be proactive in finding ways to decrease their college costs, not just their parents.

As a high school student, I am already thinking of ways to save money for college. In my opinion, I recommend students spend time in their high school college and career center exploring their list of grants, scholarships, loans, and internships. Jewish Family and Children’s Services also offers help so you can get a head start on saving money for college.

Each fall JFCS’ Financial Aid Center offers scholarship workshops designed for 11th and 12th graders who are looking for scholarships that they may be eligible for academically, interest-wise, or relating to unique talents they may have.

In January, JFCS offers Financial Aid Workshops. These workshops are a perfect opportunity for 12th graders (and their parents) to learn how to fill out the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the ONLY way to get any Federal Aid for college. Completing the FAFSA correctly is critical to having your student receive the most government aid as possible!

You can also contact Michelle Lamphere, the Director of the Financial Aid Center, if you wish to receive information on any of the upcoming workshops, or have any questions regarding college costs, scholarships, loans, and grants. Contact Michelle at: 415-449-1226;

Juliette CareyJuliette Carey will be an 11th grader this coming fall. As a summer intern for JFCS’ Financial Aid Center she learned a lot of valuable information about financial aid, and is happy to share some of what she learned in her blogs. To find out more about the teen internships and other YouthFirst programs Juliette recommends you contact Loal Isaacs, Director of the YouthFirst Programs, at or learn more here.

Related Post: JFCS’ Loan Recipients Speak Out.

Posted by Admin on July 24, 2015