paying for college out of pocket

The Community College Pathway to the University of California

Last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation began with Beth posing a few questions about access to the University of California system: what if finances are tight, or if you aren’t a top student and the UCs seem out of reach?  To understand how a California community college might be an option, Beth brought back college admissions counselor Becky Leichtling.  Becky explained how the UC system has carved out a path for graduates of a community college, sharing the percentage of students graduating from a UC, including the likes of Berkley and UCLA, who began their academic journey at a community college. (Hint: a MUCH larger percentage than I expected!) The two also discussed what the counseling landscape might look like, and what that crazy acronym IGETC means exactly.

Paying for College Expenses Out of Pocket

After the break, Beth welcomed back regular guest, Jeanne Mahan, to talk through some of the ways you can help pay for college with your regular monthly cash. Jeanne also ran through some of the most commonly missed add-ons to the college bill you might be able to remove. Before they wrapped up, Jeanne shared the one piece of information she considers to be the unsung hero of college financing: the payment plan.  Jeanne walked us through exactly how they work, and how they can end up making the tuition bill much more affordable for you.

Listener Questions

In the final segment, College Coach team member Erica Braley was back to present Beth with some of our listeners’ questions. Here are the highlights of what was covered this week:

  • How many colleges should you apply to in total; is there a minimum or maximum number?
  • Can you write your essay on what you want to major in?
  • How should you respond to requested feedback from a college tour?
  • How important are volunteer hours in an area you might be interested in before you apply to college?

Be sure to listen in to hear the answers Beth gave to these questions. Have a question you want answered on the show? Submit them on our website. Check back soon for an upcoming series dedicated to walking rising seniors through the steps of applying to college.


Written by Tova Tolman
Tova Tolman is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Prior to joining College Coach, Tova worked in admissions at Fordham University, Montclair State University, and Barnard College. Visit our website to learn more about Tova Tolman.