This from Kim Hamer of

Every year I deal with clients who don't know how to face their money monsters. If you need financial aid, you need to face your monster. Here is my formula to look the Money Monster in the eye and get the financial support for the education that your child deserves.

So what I have noticed in my work is that there are three common monsters. They are pride, guilt and shame.

Pride: This monster feels spiteful and pissy because he doesn't want anyone's help. He can do it by himself, because, darn it, this is America!! America is where individuals make things happen by shear will power and know how.
How to respond to pride: Hey monster. I hear you. I hate asking for help too. The thing is I can't send my child to private school without asking for assistance and I love my child more than life itself. I think we'll both see that this is what makes parenting so hard, pushing past our normal responses so that we can get something we want for the child that we desperately love. Thank you monster for your input. I'm glad you're here. Go away until I really need you again. Thank you.
Guilt: This monster tells you that you donít deserve anything. You are asking for too much and that really, you should be grateful for all that you have. Besides, there is some other needy family out there who deserves it more than you do.
How to respond to guilt: Hey monster. Thanks for your input. Often I take what I have for granted. So I promise every day to list 5 things that I am grateful for. Gratitude doesnít mean being content. It just means that I appreciate what I have. I have worked really hard to get where I am. It took focus and energy, time and commitment. I deserve to get financial aid as much any other parent. Thank you for reminding me of all that I have. I want to give my child the gift of an excellent education.
Shame: This monster is really, really sneaky. He comes up on you and whispers in your ear that you did something wrong and that is why you canít afford private school. He says things like ďEveryone else can afford it. You are 40 and canít afford $20K a year to send your kid to private school? You obviously donít know how to handle money.Ē Shame takes his cues from F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real).
How to respond to shame: Hey Shame, I donít believe you. I can afford private school. I did not make bad money decisions. Yes, maybe I could have planned more to afford private school but it was not a possibility until we looked at the public school options. So Shame, thanks but I know the truth and itís that I love my child so much and I will do what I can to get him the education that will help him be a better adult. See you later! (Sound of a door slamming!)
Now for the tips:
1. Financial aid is not about how much the school can give you, itís about how much you can afford.

Many parents have it backwards. Financial aid is a way to help you afford private school. The questions on the forms ask what you can afford, not how much the school will give you. It puts you in a position of power (better to fight off the monsters) and allows you to look at your financial situation with more honesty. So, before you start filling out those forms, know what you can pay.

2. Do not consider trying to skimp by this year and then ask for financial aid the next year.

Because of the economy and the tight financial aid budgets, many schools have a policy that states, if you are a full paying parent when you enter the school, you may not apply for financial aid unless the need for aid is due to a specific hardship such as job loss or illness, that you will have to prove. Skimping one year may mean you will have to enroll in public school the second year.

3. If you have a question about the financial aid process, call the school!

In Los Angeles, there are roughly 15 applicants for every available seat. The schools are there to help you. If you have all the information you need, then you have more power. Asking questions will ensure that your application is complete.
My monster still hangs out with me, but he isnít as powerful as he once was. Take the time to face him and let your love for your child give you the courage to give them the gift of a private school education.

Kim Hamer, The Private School Admissions Expert, is founder of the 7 Steps to Acceptance Systemô, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to get your child into private elementary, private middle or private high school. To get your F.R.E.E. 7 Steps to Getting Into Private School by e-mail and receive Kim's weekly admissions secrets articles on getting the private education you want for your child, visit