When you found out you were pregnant, you were excited beyond words. Ethan was even more excited than you! You guys had been married for a little under a year and had already talked about having kids soon, so when you got pregnant… it was all you needed to complete the both of you; it was what the both of you dreamed for. As time progressed, so did the things you each got for your baby. From onesies and the crib to the closet full of diapers and bibs, you had a bunch of stuff already. You hadn’t even had your baby shower yet, either! Today, you had just turned five months pregnant and each month, Ethan would draw another line of how much you grew on the wall of the baby’s room. Within the past month, you grew 7 more inches! (don’t judge me, I don’t know how fast babies grow???) As Ethan kissed you bump, your stomach growled, causing a giggle from your lips. “You hungry?” Ethan asked with a grin. You nodded excitedly and knew just what you wanted. Pizza, but not any pizza. Pineapple pizza with pickles and ranch! You told Ethan what you wanted and he just shook his head. “That is a disgrace to pineapple pizza.” He muttered under his breath. Ethan grabbed a couple of things from the counter in the kitchen, like keys and such, and you both headed off to the local pizza place.
You were regulars, so as you walked in, you were graced with a lot of “Welcome!”’s and “Nice to see you again!”’s. You and Ethan took your places at the booth and were served immediately with your drinks and some bread sticks. You ordered the pizza you were craving and Ethan ordered his. Chattering all around the two of you, Ethan moved over from his side of the booth to yours to hear you better and keep up conversation. You talked about everything under the sun before your pizza finally arrived. You face lit up as the server laid it on the table. You quickly got a slice, dipped in it ranch, and took a big bite of it. The flavors tastes heavenly on your tongue! You hummed and did a little dance in your seat because of how well it tasted. Ethan, again, shook his head at you, but still whispered how much he loved you in your ear which caused you to smile even wider. You knew that Ethan was going to make a great dad when your baby came in a short three months.
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i remember when i met him, it was so clear he was the only one for me. we both knew it, right away. but as the years went on, things got more difficult, we were faced with more challenges. i begged him to stay. try to remember what we had in the beginning. he was charismatic, magnetic, electric and everyone knew it. when he walked in every woman’s head turned, everybody stood up to talk to him. he was like this hybrid, this mix of a man who couldn’t contain himself. i always got the sense that he became torn between being a good person and missing out on all of the opportunities that life could offer a man as magnificent as him. And in that way i understood him and i loved him. i loved him, i loved him, i loved him. and i still love him. i love him.
Sometimes, the hardest part is simply knowing where to begin. Here are some tips:
1) Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify.
2) Apply for national grants.
Options include Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants.
3) Apply for local scholarships. Civic organizations and religious institutions often have meaningful amounts of aid to dole out.
4) Getting into more than one school translates to a higher likelihood of receiving a big financial aid package.
5) Bargain! Even schools that only provide need-based aid sometimes come up with drastically different offers.
AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, National Health Services Corps and ROTC programs offer college money in exchange for a service commitment.
7) Look abroad. At Scotland’s St. Andrews, U.S. students pay only $21,650.
8) Stay home. Starting out at a low-cost community college and transferring to a four-year college for the final two years will wipe away a hefty chunk of room and board costs, as well as some tuition.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two excellent options.
Don’t forget to consult your local expert – guidance counselors are often aware of options you may not have considered; best of all, their help is free.