Be alert for opportunities when you are preparing for college costs

   It’s almost back-to-school time. 
   But someday, “back-to-school” will mean “off to college” – and college can be expensive. 
   You need to look for every opportunity available to help your kids with those sizable college bills.
   For starters, think about financial aid at least a year before your child or grandchild is going to start school. 
   The main federal financial aid application is usually open on October 1 for the following school year.
   Also, look everywhere for scholarships. 
   Find out what’s offered from religious, ethnic or community organizations, local businesses, and civic groups. 
   And you can find a great deal of scholarship information on the web sites of the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.
   One more suggestion: Don’t forget about community colleges – they’re an affordable way for students to get a lot of college credits before transferring to a four-year school.
   A financial professional can help you establish an overall strategy to pay for college. 
   By being proactive and having a plan in place, you can go a long way toward coping with the high costs of higher education.
   This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor John Dickerson. Member SIPC.     

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