Ask the Patch Pro: Experts Answer Your College Prep Questions

Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to offer advice to help high school students and parents prepare for college.

Welcome to Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comment section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week we're talking all about preparing for college. Patch wants to help you find the answers to your questions, but we needed some help.

We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts:

  • Carol Otis: ACT/SAT Tutor 
  • Julie Kampschroeder: Pattonville High School College Counselor
  • Pam Hopkins: Barat Academy Director of College Counseling 
  • Mary Jo Grimm: St. Charles Community College Student Outreach Coordinator
  • Jennedy Abellard: Rockwood Summit High School College and Career Specialist 
  • Jeff Buckman: Eureka High School College Specialist

If you have a college preparation related question, ask below in our comment section and one of our experts will answer! 

If you consider yourself a local expert and would like to be added to the list, let us know! jordan.lanham@patch.com


Carol otis October 26, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Carol Otis. Be sure to check with your child's high school college counselor. Also, credit unions and big employers often offer scholarships to children and grandchildren of members/employees. There are several good publications at the local libraries that list scholarships and who they are available to. Network with folks you know to find out about other scholarship opportunities.
Ray Antonacci October 26, 2012 at 01:42 PM
The community college recommendation is GREAT. This will help the both of you determine what his level of commitment is. If he still wants to be a marine biologist after two years of community college than I say go for it! I am one of those people who got a degree then spent the last 20 years in an occupation outside of what I studied. I do, however, use my EDUCATION. Things he will learn in college will help him throughout his life no matter what he ends up doing. Things like critical thinking and how to construct an argument are examples of things I learned in college that I use every day. Even though you don't see Marine Biologist "Help Wanted" signs all over town does not mean they are non existent. I would think this is one of those occupations where networking is key to finding a job.
The College Scholarship Process October 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM
A free list of local scholarship opportunities for St. Louis area students can be found at www.CSOrganizer.com
Jeff Buckman October 31, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I am assuming both you and your son have sat down with the ROTC Commander at the college, which will discuss the requirements of the program, commitment, logistics, etc. After that discussion, if your son is still choosing ROTC, then he needs to focus on which college is the best fit for him regarding academics, atmosphere, etc. He might also look at the size of the ROTC program per school as well. Does he want larger or smaller? (pro's and con's to both). And in my previous work at a private college, I can say that cost should not be a factor, as the total cost of attendance will likely be covered between the government and the school.
Jeff Buckman October 31, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Depending on the type of degree you want to pursue, most local four-year colleges have online classes or a School of Professional Studies (for those non-traditional students). I second Ms. Abellard's statement about community college. It's a great way to get the basic courses completed at a great price. Financial aid (loans) are available, but you would need to file the FAFSA to see which one(s) for which you qualify. Definitely go visit the college or colleges you are considering and they will let you know the best decision for your case.


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