It costs a great deal of money to raise a family. Everything is so very expensive. I cannot believe the extra money that our children are constantly requesting for school activities as well as classroom supplies. It used to be that if a child went to public school you needed to supply basic notebooks, folders and writing utensils. Not any more. My children are always coming home with requests for special computer paper, specific notebooks and certain types of inks for their pens. It becomes quite expensive. My oldest child is going to be a junior in high school. We were sent information from her guidance counselor that it was time to apply for financial aid for school. I called the counselor and explained that our daughter still had not decided which university she wanted to attend. The counselor told me that this does not make any difference. Now when applying for financial aid for school the forms are processed in one place. The aid is based on financial resources of the parents as well as the academic achievements of the student. A flat rate is determined in regards to the financial aid for school that will be received by the student. It does not matter if they apply to a private college or a state university; they are still eligible for the same amount of assistance. This seems like a much better system than when I went to college. Back then you had to fill out the financial aid packets for each school. It is so much more convenient to fill out the financial aid for school one time. Our son is only one grade behind our daughter. The guidance counselor said that when it comes time to fill out his papers we only need to do an addendum to the papers we are filling out for our daughter. The aid was also increase at that time because of having two children in college. It does not matter if they are in the same college or not. This is great news. I remember that I did not have a choice of which university I went to because I had to go to the same one my sister did in order to have financial assistance. This is a very nice surprise. It seems that so many things are getting more and more complicated, so it is nice to find something that has been made more streamlined. Now we just have to hope that her grades stay up so that she will qualify for an additional scholarship.