#CampusChat Q&A with Celest Horton: How to pay for college

#CampusChat is a regular Twitter chat, held Wednesdays at 9PM, Eastern. Celest Horton, podcaster at How to Pay for College HQ was our guest on November 18, 2015.

financial literacyQ1 – What is How to Pay for College HQ? #CampusChat
A1 – HTPFCHQ is a free Podcast and Website available for parents to help them plan and prepare to pay for college without loans. #CampusChat
A1 – The Podcasts are available on iTunes (http://bit.ly/1LkCEZT) and Stitcher Radio (http://bit.ly/1HUL4fF). #CampusChat
A1 – Let me know what topics interest you parents and we will address those issues in upcoming episodes of the podcast. #CampusChat


Q2 – What motivated you to start these podcasts? #CampusChat
A2 – As a mom of four kids and three close enough in age to be in college the same time, I was naturally interested. #CampusChat
A2 – I graduated debt free with a BS in ChemE and know with hard work and dedication it is possible. #CampusChat
A2 – Found experts to collaborate on strategies to help give parents hope that it is possible and it’s never too late to start. #CampusChat


Q3 – What type of topics do your guests cover and how do they relate to paying for college? #CampusChat
A3 – The ability to earn a free ride scholarship to school of choice by becoming a National Merit Finalist. #CampusChat
A3 – To best position family financial planning to maximize Financial Aid opportunities that don’t include loans. #CampusChat
A3 – The amazing ROI on searching and applying for private scholarships to help cover those college fees. #CampusChat


Q4 – What have you learned about paying for college that you didn’t know before recording the podcasts? #CampusChat
A4 – It is actually an advantage to have more than one child in college at a time for more financial aid consideration. #CampusChat
A4 – The importance of EVERY family to complete the FAFSA, as some Merit Aid may require its completion. #CampusChat
A4 – How the Expected Family Contribution remains constant regardless of how many children are in college at once. #CampusChat


#campuschat college planning twitter chatQ5 – Who were three of your most helpful guests and why? #CampusChat
A5 – All of my guest have been helpful and bring value to any parent giving of their time to listen. #CampusChat
A5 – My most downloaded episodes include @payscale, @HigherScores, @CollegeEssayGuy, and @Gregorio9706 #CampusChat
A5 – Those top rated episodes have covered salaries for various degrees, testing strategies, essay preparation and FAFSA. #CampusChat


Q6 – Why do you recommend parents listen to your podcasts? #CampusChat
A6 – It’s a free resource to better educate parents on the financial aspects of college. #CampusChat
A6 – The Podcast also works to keep parents current on the every changing industry. #CampusChat
A6 – The more parents understand the process and ideas for strategies-together we can work to end this student loan debt crisis. #CampusChat


Q7 What have you learned about the college essay that would help parents pay for college? #CampusChat
A7 – Surprisingly…not all colleges require essays for admissions. #CampusChat
A7 – A good essay is important and can be repurposed for various scholarship applications. #CampusChat
A7 – If your student struggles with writing, it could be beneficial to ask for help to craft a good personal essay. #CampusChat

Q8 – What have you learned about standardized tests that would help parents pay for college? #CampusChat
A8 – The PSAT is a must and parents need to understand the importance of preparing how a good score can lead to $$. #CampusChat
A8 – Many colleges have instant Merit Aid tied to different scores on the Standardized Test–higher the score the higher the $$. #CampusChat
A8 – If score is high enough for admissions into college of choice, consider taking again to improve score & earn more $$. #CampusChat


Q9 – What have you learned about college visits that would help parents make a smart financial decision about college? #CampusChat
A9 – Visits are crucial to help your students get their boots on the ground and get excited about college and its potentials. #CampusChat
A9 – With my kids I focused those visits to colleges that were within our family game plan of affordability. #CampusChat
A9 – If your student isn’t on board with an affordable college, often after a visit to the campus their mind can be changed. #CampusChat


Q10 – What are three tips you can give parents about paying for college? #CampusChat
A10 It’s never too late to start thinking and strategizing methods to reduce the cost of college. #CampusChat
A10 Don’t disqualify yourself – The only guarantee of no aid is to those students who don’t complete the FAFSA. #CampusChat
A10 Make sure to take advantage and prepare for PSAT, Private Scholarships and Merit Aid. Keep applying even once in college. #CampusChat


Z. Kelly Queijo

Author: Z. Kelly Queijo

Kelly is founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting. When she's not creating content for the blog or clients, tweeting, or hosting #CampusChat, she's planning her next mobile move.

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