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Planning For College: Expert Advice From Local Teacher

Bob Barrett

David Landfair is a Gulf Breeze City Councilman and teaches Air Force Junior ROTC at Gulf Breeze High School maybe not someone you'd expect to be the go-to guy on college selection.

He says the idea for his book called "Picking the Right College and Finding Some Money to Pay for It" came from his work with another local educator, Major Steve Duckworth who formerly worked with Army ROTC at the University of West Florida. Landfair says the book is pretty much Duckworth's Power Point presentation from the days he talked to students about college. The idea for the book came from the days Landfair accompanied Duckworth and saw parents frantically taking notes.

In the book, Landfair suggests being as hands on as possible, contacting schools directly and asking the right questions. He also says a great source of information can be the annual college fair.

The book also outlines what Landfair calls a four year plan of attack, taking a student through the steps of choosing a college from their freshman to senior years of high school.  He says a student's junior year of high school is the most important in the college application process.


And no matter which college a student eventually gets into, paying for that school will be a major part of the decision.  Savings plans such as the Florida Pre Paid Plan or the 529 savings plans are long term ways parents can begin saving for college. Landfair also says not to overlook any free money being offered, apply for every scholarship available. Most school guidance offices will have a list of local scholarships.

He also suggests saving money by attending a two year college and then transferring to a four year school to complete a degree.

The book has other important tips like the importance of visiting a college before applying and knowing the policy each school has for transferring into a grad program. David Landfair's book, "Picking the Right College and Finding Some Money to Pay for It", is available at Amazon.com.