Students and families prepare for college's financial burden - – Rockford’s News Leader

Students and families prepare for college's financial burden

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It's no secret that debt can rack up while you're in college. Some families are preparing for it before their kids get those acceptance letters.

Rock Valley College hosts its 41st annual College Night. 140 university, technical college, and military representatives from across the country were there. Kids and adults used the forum to explore and look at their options when it comes to paying for school.

"We've been told by counselors that we should get an early start." -says Dean Lewandowski, whose oldest child Hannah is a junior at Hononegah High School.

Hannah already has an idea of a school and a career choice, but her family's still learning about payment options.

"I wish I knew more about financial aid, I've been told that this is a great place to go and start finding out more." -says Dean.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has information on grants, scholarships, and loans. One ISAC representative is helping out students like Rockford East High School senior Lamarcus Harvey.

"They told me I can talk to my counselor, and they'll have information for scholarships available. I got her email address and she's going to help me out a lot." -says Harvey.

Financial assistance worked wonders for Don Price, a single father of three daughters, and a first-year student at Rock Valley College.

"I surprisingly went for financial aid and was lucky enough to get it. I was actually surprised I would, I just tried it on a whim and it worked out to where I was able to get it." -says Price.

If you're thinking about financial aid, federally or in Illinois, the first step is to apply online or on paper. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available at That information will calculate your family's financial need and determine your eligibility for assistance.

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