Schoolhouse Review ~ College Common Sense


“Worried” about how to pay for college? HELP IS HERE! This is my review of College Common Sense “Going to College and Paying for It” online video and workbook.

The online video and workbook are broken down in to twelve different parts…six pdf files to print (the workbook) and six videos to watch. The pdf files range from 4 pages to 9 pages and the videos range from 12 minutes to 31 minutes each. Each one has an assignment to do as well. So, overall, it adds up to 34 pages and about 85 minutes of video.

Denise Ames, a Financial Aid Consultant for the last ten years, is “the owner and creator” of this program. She recommends it for Elementary through High School (yes, Elementary – did you know Kohl’s offers college scholarships for six year olds!?!?!?).


Let me just say that there is a TON of information in this! It covers where to start all the way to what to continue to do once you are attending college. It is shared in a way that is for THE STUDENT to be the person doing all the work (YAY!); therefore it is VERY detailed in instructions of how to take care of each step along the way.

The “overall jist” of this is to prepare AHEAD for college. Find out what scholarships and financial aid are available and what needs to be done to get them. It discusses how to figure out how much attending college will cost then figuring in all the different financial helps to come up with the best possible college to attend. She has a very detailed approach.

A quick overview (because there is SO MUCH I could share…I will TRY to “keep it quick”):

Section 1: The Big Picture…she says, “You have to know what it is you are trying to accomplish and then look for the “win-win” situations to get there.” Three major steps to going to college (get accepted, get offers, compare). Discussion of how to figure out the cost of attending for each college.

Section 2: How Financial Aid Works…discusses the FAFSA and basic discussion of “free money” schools will offer.

Section 3: All About the Free Money…all kinds of information about different types of scholarships.

Section 4: The System That Works…this is where she shares her detailed plan for how to “stay on track” and it covers writing essays for colleges.

Section 5: You In the Process…talks about once you are in college and reminders to not get in to debt.

Section 6: Put It All Together…discusses being responsible and how big the future is!

This is not a “religious set” there is NO mention of God, the Lord, “being led” or anything; therefore, this would work for many types of families.

Also offered FOR FREE are a monthly newsletter and weekly assignments (sent via email) so make sure to sign up for those at her website! No purchase necessary to get these! 

As a side note: There are some areas that were a little confusing, mostly just “detail” type things. For instance, it will say “Page 15” but there are no page numbers on the printed material. 😉 Additionally, the numbers at the top of the pdf files do not match the video number – they are all off by one because of the “Introduction” pdf. (This was only confusing for me because I printed them all off THEN watched the videos – had I printed them then immediately watched it wouldn’t have been as confusing.) Sometimes it was hard to match up what was shared in the monthly newsletter and the weekly assignments to what is on the website.

Another thing I wasn’t sure how I felt about was how much she stressed it is THE STUDENT’S future therefore THEY need to be the one’s to decide – and although I agree with this, I would have liked to have seen a little more “talk with your parents” shared through out. But I wouldn’t put this as a deterant for not getting this.

The cost? PERFECT! $25 for one year of online access or $50 for a DVD and printed workbook.

Would I recommend this to others? WITHOUT HESITATION!

Make sure to check out the other Schoolhouse reviews of College Common Sense!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.


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One thought on “Schoolhouse Review ~ College Common Sense

  1. Clara @A Slice of Homeschool Pie February 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm Reply

    Hi. I wanted to stop by from the Crew and read your review.


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