Mission Tuition Offers Tips On How to Choose the College That’s Best For You!

Filed under Business, Education, Opinion

Mission Tuition Offers Tips On How to Choose the College That’s Best For You!


As we become immersed in the holidays, thinking about our children’s future becomes number one on our list of priorities.  Of course we always worry about our children, but bills, jobs, the economy – all of this is set aside as we look at the children racing towards the Christmas tree, or seeing their eyes light up as the holiday decorations appear.


This year is a very personal time for this writer, as I just received a phone call from my nephew back East.  This is a young man who I remember as a little boy who was quiet, sweet and a ‘dreamer’ of sorts.  I remember him as this little boy because I have not seen him in years.  Yet now this young man was on the other end of the telephone telling his grandmother and myself that he had gotten into the college of his choice.  COLLEGE!  How that is possible when I have not aged (insert laugh here) blew my mind.  But this is a young man who set his sights on a specific school and then worked his proverbial behind off to get the grades and get in – to begin the path that would take him exactly where he wanted to go.


Now there are many families out there with infants in a crib, staring down at them and wondering what their path in life with be, and how, as parents, they are going to save for that college education.  As we’ve spoken about over the past few months, there are many financial scholarships, grants, federal monies, etc. out there that can help.  There are also 529 college plans that many families will begin saving for now.  Mission Tuition is the company we’ve been looking into that was created to help in this process.  Not only is this a company that offers sites, tips and suggestions for the adult who is looking to figure out the best and worst investments to choose from, but they also have put together an inspired, unique program where if you open a Free Mission Tuition account, you literally begin saving money while you do a very normal everyday thing…shop.


The Mission Tuition website offers a way to shop all the stores that you already love and receive coupons, discounts, money back, sale prices – everything – that is automatically placed in your “educational savings account” held at Wells Fargo bank.  There, the money simply sits and adds up while you research all the incredible 529 college programs that are available for your child.  Also, with Mission Tuition, if you shop in the stores and not online, you still receive all the same cash back rewards and coupons, and YOU have the choice whether or not it goes into the educational savings account, or straight into your pocket!  Talk about a no-lose situation!


Among the tips that Mission Tuition provides is how to go about looking into colleges when you are a teenager.  This is one of the hardest and most important tasks that you will face in life, and certainly has sprung to this particular writer’s mind after receiving that fantastic phone call.


One of the tips in picking a college is to compose an initial list of schools that you wish to research.  It’s not often easy to find three or four colleges that would really fit your needs, but with ideas from a parent, high school guidance counselor, and the myriad of websites that are available in this technological age, choosing schools becomes a bit easier.  A great new website available that many people are speaking about is the College Results Online (CRO) site that helps teens compose a list of colleges to apply to in a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate presentation. To help seniors who are still undecided, not to mention juniors who want to get an early start over their Christmas break, a site such as this one can really help narrow down the options and set you on the right path.


Picking the right college helps to launch a person’s career, but oftentimes students and parents make this decision without knowing all of the information about each campus.  Many websites can help families compare four-year colleges nationwide, from looking at the campus to studying the proportion of students who actually finish that college with a degree in hand – all types of information that is necessary to learn.


As a New Year’s resolution, here are some tips on how to locate the college you want.  Try to make a list of at least four to six colleges that meet your needs.  Look at the graduation rates for each, including the national average based on a six-year time frame for completing a four-year degree. That way you know ahead of time if these are the colleges that concentrate on ensuring success for all their students


It is rare for a teen to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives, especially considering that most adults with jobs still don’t have the feeling of empowerment that they thought they would have at 40 years of age.  Even they are looking at going back to school or changing their careers.  But if you are one of the lucky ones who knows in their soul what they want to be (Yay, Ryan!) then narrow down your choices to colleges that really pinpoint that particular career path.


College is also about expanding your personal horizon and learning to work well with people from all different backgrounds, so studying the student body is also an interesting method in choosing your school.  In today’s increasingly global-world, it’s more important than ever to live and learn with people from different experiences and cultures.


Location!  Location!  Location!  Many believe the best college option is the one closest (or, farthest away) from home. Keep in mind all of your options for higher education in the region that works best for you and your family, but don’t limit your search to colleges that you think will be easy based on their entry requirements.  Identify schools with SAT (or ACT) score requirements that are similar to yours, but never sell yourself short!  This is your life, live it the way you want!


And the biggest tip?  Try not to be bowled over by tuition costs.  This is where Mission Tuition comes into play.  Cost, of course, plays a huge role in every family’s college decision process, but ‘sticker shock’ has to be avoided.  All schools offer grants and scholarships, the government offers Federal Student Aid, there are 529’s, Pell Grants, even scholarships and grants that are awarded by your own state and even small town.  There are a variety of ways to get that money to make sure that you start on the path you want to, and there are many outlets for financial aid.


And the best part is, while you are researching all of these vehicles and deciding on what’s best for you, you can be saving the money by simply doing the everyday chore of shopping.  From Walmart to Target, Walgreens to Pep Boys - every store you already shop at is on Mission Tuition.  You can even use any of your existing debit or credit cards to make purchases.  If your favorite card earns miles or points, you receive them in addition to Mission Tuition’s cash rebates, doubling your benefits with every purchase.  And remember, YOU decide what to do with your in-store savings, while shopping online puts your savings directly into the “educational savings account” until you’ve found that perfect college vehicle to invest in.


Make your New Year’s resolution today!  There is no greater gift than the gift of education, and making your dream come true is a Christmas present that can not be surpassed.  From a very proud Aunt who is so thrilled that her nephew is starting his future out the way he wants, my wish is for all those incredible kids out there to be able to head to the college of their choice!


Happy Holidays!


Until Next Time, Everybody.


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