The TI-84+ Silver Edition calculator has nine times the memory and a processor that runs slightly faster than the TI-83+. The 84+ Silver Edition also comes with software and a cable that allows you to transfer information between your calculator and computer. The main reason a student likes the 84+ Silver Edition better is that is looks pretty and it plays games better. I say the only reason one should buy the Silver Edition is if you really think you would connect the calculator to your computer for downloading other materials such as derivative solvers for calculus or chemistry equation solvers for chemistry class. Over 95% of students who buy the Silver Edition never use its extra capabilities for education purposes. So I say, save your money, and go with the 83+. We load them the same. The programs work the same. The 84+ Silver just runs a little faster, but the difference is so little most never notice.
The TI-89 and TI-92 calculators are illegal on the ACT. And since ACT test takers are our primary customers, we don’t sell something the students can’t use. The second reason is that many of the programs we add are functionality already built-in to the TI-89 and TI-92. Finally, the TI-83+ and the TI-84+ are the most popular calculators sold in the country. Many textbooks now reference these calculators and many college courses even require them such as Graphing College Algebra at Oklahoma State University.
College costs are increasing at a rate of about 7% per year. Student loans are becoming so common. And some people think they can just default on them with bankruptcy. But you can’t dump a student loan. Nope, the government will even garnish disability and social security checks to get your payment. Recently a woman’s case against the government went to the supreme court to prevent the government from garnishing her disability check for her student loan payment. She argued that she could not even afford her medicine if they garnished her check. The supreme court said, “sorry, but you shouldn’t have taken the loan.” Brutal!
I don’t care if you have to attend the local community college, junior college or whatever, stay away from those loans. Even if it takes you 5 years to graduate instead of 4 years because you had to work a lot of hours on your job, it would still be better than having all those loans.
And finally, please don’t go into $60,000 of debt for college, so you can graduate with a degree that will allow you to earn $25,000/year. Now how long will it be before you can payoff that loan?
529 plans give you a good way to contribute for your grandkids. Explore the Coverdell ESA first (also known as the Education IRA) then save in the 529 plans. The Coverdell ESA allows you to save $2,000 per year per child of after-tax dollars with all growth being tax-free if used for education purposes. The big advantage of the Coverdell is that you can invest it in anything you want. You can build your own portfolio of mutual funds for example. The 529 plans limit you to the state’s selected funds. You can invest in funds from other states, but you would lose the state tax deduction, if any. College costs are increasing at a rate of about 7% per year. So make sure you calculate how much you might need by high school graduation.
My wife and I are saving for our two children such that they can attend one of the major four-year public universities without borrowing. If they choose to go out of state or if they choose to go to a private school, they will have to pay for anything over the amount the state school would have cost. On the other hand, if they earn scholarships, the equivalent amount of the scholarships will be given to them by us as cash.
We have our prep book Chad Cargill's ACT which is used individually and in classroom settings. Studies have shown that students raise their composite ACT score an average of 2.4 points after completing the course. Students with below a 20 in reading raise an average of 5.9 points in reading alone.
The books are $20 each with a 10% discount on all orders of 20 or more books. We would be happy to send you an examination copy of the book and teacher folder for you to review.
Use every resource you can find. Try the following: counseling office, parent's work, companies, foundations, and the internet. Some free websites that may help are www.fastweb.com and www.scholarshipcoach.com.
Many use the line, “God first, family second, then everything else.” But very few that use this line live by it. I do live by this. I am in leadership at my church. My wife and I are the kid’s church pastors at Harrah First Assembly of God in Harrah, Oklahoma. So if we have church on Wednesday nights, I am attending church.
Then schools ask me to make a one-time exception. The answer is still, “no.” Why would I put kids in a position where they have to choose attending church or coming to listen to me? Let them experience their commitment to God with their friends on Wednesday nights. They can hear me speak on another night.