MY SAUA-Z IndexImage: Calendar


 

United Township, Illinois

Parent of
Tony '14

Break it down

"The sticker price can seem shocking to begin with. But if you break it down and go through the FAFSA process, it's a relief. You see all the different ways to cover costs: you pay some, your student pays some, the government pays some. It's affordable."."

For first-time college parent Luis Raya, working through the college selection process was a new experience. He knew St. Ambrose had a solid reputation, but he wasn't sure whether his family could afford the cost. By working with St. Ambrose and filling out the FAFSA, his family accessed a package of scholarships and other aid that brought Ambrose within reach.

In his own words

What's your family history with higher education?

My son is the first one in the family to go to college. I was the first to finish high school, and I am the first to send my kids to college. If you've never been through the process, it's hard to follow the guidelines. What's the best way to pay for college? There are so many forms. It's like getting married, you don't know what to expect until you do it.

From your perspective, what were the most important factors for your son to think about?

I wanted to focus him on what he wanted to be. And I wanted him to feel comfortable.

And what were the biggest considerations for you?

On my part, the issue was always money. Can I afford it? That is the dilemma with a lot of parents. My original suggestion was for my son to go to a two-year college, and then transfer to whatever college he wanted to. But I was open-minded, and said, "Let's look at what each school offers and what it will cost us." We itemized everything to the final penny.

How did Ambrose work with you?

They put the package together so I could see the whole picture. The sticker price can seem shocking to begin with. But if you break it down and go through the FAFSA process, it's a relief. You see all the different ways to cover costs: you pay some, your student pays some, the government pays some. It's affordable.

What was your perception of St. Ambrose before Tony started considering it?

I knew St. Ambrose had a good reputation. I never had any doubts about that.

How is he liking St. Ambrose?

He loves it. My son is just a freshman, but he's really involved in many things. He doesn't want to come home on the weekends, because he'll be missing out on St. Ambrose!

How often do you go to campus?

We've been over to campus for family weekend and for a cross-country event. The next day we went to Mass and some other events on campus.

What's your advice to parents?

Don't be afraid to follow up and get the full information about financial aid. Don't just walk away from a school because you see a higher sticker price. And apply for financial aid early. Some parents wait until the last minute. Some aid is first come, first served, so families need to get started right away.

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