After application, acceptance and decision day – making a plan to pay for college

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After application, acceptance and decision day – making a plan to pay for college

Shared By Laurie Kimbrel   /     Jun 09, 2015  /     Blog, Laurie Kimbrel, Laurie Kimbrel Superintendent, Laurie Kimbrel Tamalpais  /     , ,

High school graduation is quickly approaching. It’s mid May, AP exams are over, and it’s almost time for graduation. The day that you submitted your college applications is a foggy memory. Your acceptances finally arrived and you were left with a big decision about the next four years of your life. You considered many factors as you approached the May 1 deadline: your intended major, class sizes, social opportunities, rigor or courses, reputation of the school, even the weather and cafeteria food. But did you consider your financial aid options and how you would pay for your tuition, room and board and living expenses?

College tuition and expenses rise annually and in fact, are at an all time high. We hear many reports of students who have difficulty managing the overwhelming expense of an undergraduate degree. There are a few typical barriers and more importantly, methods to over come them. View Laurie Kimbrel Superintendent’s profile, images, blog, news & more! Get everything Laurie Kimbrel straight from the latest Laurie Kimbrel news to a full collection of photos, facts, and a complete biography.

Understanding the financial aid process

Applying for financial aid is often not an easy process for families. This is a particularly daunting barrier for first generation college students whose parents have not had previous experience with the process. The FAFSA form can be overwhelming, but many schools or community agencies offer seminars, workshops and assistance. It is most helpful when these workshops are offered at times and locations that are convenient to working parents. These workshops should also be held in the native language of the parent. Regardless of family income, part of the college application process for every student should be filling out the FAFSA form. When parents and children sit down together to fill out the form, it can be an enlightening experience. In order to receive any aid from most colleges and universities, the FAFSA must be completely filled out and submitted by the required deadline. This is a barrier that can be overcome with targeted assistance to families.

Merit scholarships

A variety of merit scholarships are available from universities, corporations, community groups and national organizations. School counselors have access to information about a wide variety of scholarships. University financial aid offices are also a great resource. A simple Google search also typically turns up scholarships that are offered for any one of a variety of reasons. Most merit scholarships require an application process. Every year many scholarships go unused because of a lack of applications! Our goal should be to ensure that every single penny available is used for deserving students.

Loans and work-study

Finally, check with your university about the availability of loans and student work study programs to make up the difference between the “free money” offered by merit scholarships, need based aid and the cost of tuition. Research tells us that students on work-study programs typically earn the same or higher grades than students without jobs. A work-study program allows you to have a job at your college or university and that is appropriate for the schedule and needs of a student.

With planning and communication with both your high school and your university financial aid office, it is possible to fund your education in a reasonable manner and to earn the four- ear degree that has become so necessary for success.

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  • About Laurie Kimbrel

    The current project manager for the Atlanta K-12 Design Challenge, Laurie Kimbrel is an educator with many years’ experience. Before undertaking this position in 2015, Kimbrel served as Superintendent of the Tamalpais Union High School District in Larkspur, California, where she oversaw 4,200 students, 435 staff members, and managed a $63 million budget. Among other achievements under Laurie Kimbrel’s tenure, the district implemented a leadership model that formed Professional Learning Communities designed to augment teacher effectiveness through shared assessment data.

    Kimbrel holds a bachelor of science in music and business from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She also received a master of science in special education from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and completed her education with leadership-based doctoral studies at Loyola University in Chicago.

    Dedicated to her community, Laurie Kimbrel is a hospice volunteer and works with nonprofits aimed at ensuring every child has access to great teachers and schools. She is also passionate about education reform and champions efforts to bring about effective hiring practices in schools.

  • Education & Publications


    Loyola University Chicago - Doctorate, Curriculum & Instruction

    National Louis University, Certificate of Advanced Study, Educational Leadership

    Dominican University, Master of Science, Special Education

    Millikin University, Bachelor of Science, Music and Business

    It's a Man's World: How to Achieve Success as a Woman in High School District, AASA Women in Leadership Conference, 2013

    How to Run a Clean Construction Program, California School Board Convention, 2012

    A Transition Success Story: California School Boards Association Conference, 2009

    Program Growth and High Achievement: College Board National Conference, 2008

    Building Leadership Capacity through Effective Staffing Planning, Illinois Association of Personnel Administrators Conference, 2008

    Improving Student Achievement: Illinois NCLB Conference, 2007

    Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations: Lake County Personnel Administrators Conference, 2007

    The Impact of Proactive Classroom Management, Doctoral Dissertation, Loyola University, 2002

  • Community Service

    Laurie Kimbrel volunteers for a number of community organizations including Bristol Hospice as a patient volunteer, Destiny's Daughter's of Promise as a student mentor and Students First as an advocate for effective educational practices.
  • Contact Laurie Kimbrel