With billions of dollars of scholarship and grant money (read as, "free money you never have to pay back") out there for the taking, and everyone from Guidance Counselors to financial planners telling you how to get your hands on a good chunk of it (not that you listen :-), we figured we'd tell you how to go about NOT getting any money for college.

That's right. Here's the consummate "How NOT To" when it comes to paying for college!

Just follow these simple steps and you will be guaranteed to garner little or no money for college. [And don't worry. You can NOT thank us later! :-)].

1. Never Visit The Guidance Office. Sure, Guidance Counselors are a wealth of information, with the inside scoop on everything college, and file cabinets full of scholarship opportunities. Don't even drop by to say hello or schedule an appointment during your free period, let alone to ask whether there are any scholarships for which you may avail yourself.

2. Don't Look for Money In Your Own Back Yard. Yes, we know. Super Storm Sandy blew down that money tree you've been cultivating since Junior was in the womb. But beyond the picket fence you will find local businesses, banks, community, fraternal and civic organizations, offering scholarships. Who knew that Dunkin Donuts had more than doughnut dough? We did. And so should you!

3. Don't Bother To Look Under Your Desk At Work. Did you know that many employers -- not to mention unions, professional groups and associations, and work-related organizations offer scholarships? Money for college may even be an overlooked perk available at your office. Inquire through HR and/or the membership office of the organizations you belong (and often pay dues) to.

4. Stay Away from Those Annoying Scholarship Search Engines. Why bother to register, complete a profile, or actually look for scholarship money (let alone apply) at the likes of Fastweb, MeritAid, Zinch and CollegeProwler? After all, Ed McMahon will soon be knocking at your door with check in hand for one million dollars, right? [We know. "Who's Ed McMahon?" Sorry. We date ourselves...]

5. Whatever You Do (or DON'T Do), DON'T Bother To Complete and Submit FAFSA. FAFSA -- the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid is the very bedrock of financial aid at virtually every college in the United States. [And did we mention that it's FREE?] Money from the Feds, by way of Grants and Direct Student Loans? FAFSA! Work-Study on college campuses to defray the cost of tuition, room and board? FAFSA! Need-based aid by way of scholarships, grants, fellowships and assistantships from the colleges? FAFSA. Merit-based aid (yes, most schools require the submission of FAFSA to secure merit scholarships, and consider FAFSA as the application for most institutional awards)? FAFSA! Think you don't qualify for any type of aid whatsoever? FAFSA! FAFSA! FAFSA! File anyway. Heck, it's FREE, doggone it. And as they say down at the lottery office, "Hey, you never know!"

6. DON'T Even Think of Consulting With Your Independent College Counselor at COLLEGE CONNECTION or reading all about the many ways to pay for college at The College Whisperer blog. Sure, we've helped hundreds of students find money for college, tapping into the many and varied resources out there (some under your own nose) for college financial aid. Then again, if you don't ask, you won't get!

So, DON'T just do everything within your power to cash in on college money. DO NOTHING. Let someone else get that free ride to college. After all, you've got better things to do with your life -- like dig your way out of that pile of college debt!

Plan. Prepare. PREVAIL! 

Confused about financial aid? Stumped by FAFSA? Confounded by CSS-Profile or other proprietary financial aid forms? COLLEGE CONNECTION understands. We can help you prepare, complete and submit ALL required financial aid forms, including the FAFSA. We'll work with you in-person, by telephone, online and/or via Skype, not just to get the financial aid forms done, but to get them done correctly. DON'T MISS OUT ON MONEY FOR COLLEGE. Contact COLLEGE CONNECTION today! 516-345-8766.

The College Whisperer™ is the Trademark of COLLEGE CONNECTION, Official Sponsor of College Admission Success. The road to college begins at COLLEGE CONNECTION! Whether you are applying to college, planning for college, paying for college or simply thinking about college, COLLEGE CONNECTION can help! Call TODAY for a FREE telephone consultation. 516-345-8766

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