Ready to launch cover photoThe material in Ready to Launch (R2L) is structured as a workbook. By completing the worksheets, throughout the text, you learn what you need to know to make better decisions as you (or your child) transition from high school through college. Written by award-winning experts in college, career and financial planning, R2L shows you how to plan and save thousands of dollars. Whether a high school student, college graduate contemplating graduate studies, or parent, this workbook provides valuable insight.


The workbook is divided into six major sections each with its own goal:

  1. Calculate Your Desired Standard of Living
  2. Research Careers
  3. Future Wages and Education Required
  4. Calculate the Total Cost of College
  5. Understanding FAFSA
  6. The Big Picture – Paying for College

Five Funding Concepts to Remember:

  1. Calculate Your Desired Standard of Living
    1. R2L introduces you to four standards of living – poverty, minimum wage, a bottom line standard of living and a desired standard of living. In this lesson, you gain understanding and become realistic about the standard of living you want and need in the future.
  2. Research Careers, Future Wages, and Education Required
    1. In this lesson, you look for careers that embrace your interests, while providing you with a sufficient income to achieve your desired standard of living
  3. Calculate the Total Cost of College
    1. In this lesson, you estimate the cost of a post-secondary education (PSE). Whether a certificate, license, two-year, four-year or graduate level degree, PSE requires a significant investment of time and money. What return on investment can you expect? How much will PSE cost and how much will you be earning when you complete your studies? Knowing the amount of the investment will help you in making financial and career decisions. This workbook could save you and your parents as loan co-signers, more than $100,000 in student loans.
  4. Understanding FAFSA
    1. If you want to use OPM – Other People’s Money – to pay for college, you must understand FAFSA. This unit will teach you the rules for obtaining more than $25,000 for college and if you are a student receiving free or reduced lunch, how to get a free ride to college.
  5. The Big Picture
    1. Once you know the cost of college, the next step is to identify resources to pay for college. You already know if you can qualify for PELL Grants and perhaps work study. Here is where you consider scholarships, the financial value of Advanced Placement courses and dual credit classes, working while attending school, and various types of college loans.
  6. Five Funding Concepts to Remember
    1. This unit contains ideas you should always apply and an exercise designed to test your knowledge and understanding. If you can correctly answer all of the questions, pat yourself on the back and think about how much real life knowledge you have gained.