Patrick O’Connor is on the Political Science Faculty of Oakland Community College and is Director of College Counseling at The Roeper School, both in Metropolitan Detroit. Born and raised in Detroit, he has been a college counselor since 1984, serving students in rural, urban, and suburban high schools, as well as community college. In addition to writing a weekly column, his writing has appeared in High School Counselor Week, MyFootpath.com, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
College is Yours 2.0 is available at a discount price of 10% (45% by ordering 10 or more copies) by clicking here – type in College is Yours 2.0, and follow the link.
Schools and other groups can also order a custom designed version College is Yours 2.0 that includes up to 16 pages of information provided by the group—all at a 40% discount price. For more information, e-mail the author here.
For more information on the topics from the April 2013 show, follow these links:
The Metro Detroit College Fair-- see what colleges are coming on April 11
How to make the most out of the college fair
The Colleges That Change Lives college fair August 26th in Dearborn.
The Detroit Scholarship Fund, a tuition free path to an associate's degree for Detroit students graduating from high school in Spring, 2013
Michigan Bill HR 4472, a bill that would create grants that would cover most, if not all, tuition costs for many Michigan students going to a state public 2 or 4-year college.
An article explaining how Michigan can better prepare our school counselors to help students make better plans for life after high school.
Need help understanding financial aid? See the links below!
For more information on the topics we talked about in November 2013, follow these links:
Understanding college costs
Finaid.org's overview to scholarships
Avoiding scholarship scams
First, apply for Federal Aid:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Will you qualify for Federal help?
Need help completing the FAFSA? Check out College Goal Sunday
Second, see how much your colleges might really cost. By federal law, each college must post a net price calculator to its Web site to give an *estimate* of costs to attend that college. They aren't always easy to find, but go to the college's Web page, type in "net price calculator", and follow the directions from there. Here are some samples:
Albion College Net Price Calculator
Harvard Net Price Calculator
SUNY Net Price Calculator
University of Michigan Net Price Calculator
Some colleges require you to complete both the FAFSA and a second financial aid form to be considered for aid. Check your colleges' financial aid web sites; many will require you to complete the CSS Profile, which can be found by clicking here.
MeritAid ( for merit scholarships-- be sure to double check the college's Web site)
More Web sites, including one to search by major
For all other questions about aid, including loan repayment, start here.