Experts give advice on making college more affordable

[Alex Ortiz –]

Zopf, a New Lenox resident, said the session was helpful because it explained the basics of the financial aid process. She said it made her think about approaching the issue with a realistic perspective.

“They see their dream schools, they read about them and they see how much they are,” Zopf said. “They go visit them and it’s like maybe I have to change my major or go to a smaller school (and) make some changes in my thought process.”

While My College Planning Team helps families plan for both the academic and financial aspects of getting into and getting ready for college, this particular seminar at the New Lenox Public Library on Aug. 23 focused on the finances.

The prospect of staggering debt prompted Scott Semetulskis, a parent of an eighth-grader in Mokena, to really start learning more about the process pretty early. He said the seminar was helpful in thinking about the different ways he could save, especially when it comes to having his assets in the right places. Jim Slowik, the My College Planning Team member there that night, talked about not having money saved in the student’s name because the college could factor that into granting less financial aid.

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