Will there be TOPS money for my child to go to college? That's a question that many parents of high school age children are asking themselves. Many parents have planned on money from the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students to be there for their children who have made the grade in high school. Now there is a grave concern that all of that hard work in the classroom might be flushed down the drain by an irresponsible state government.

What is a parent to do? Anne Osestricher, a financial planner from Alexandria says the solution is really quite simple. It's painful, but it's simple.

You simply need to plan to save more or change your idea of what kind of education they can have.

I know that advice seems very condescending but it's not intended to be. It's reality. Osestricher suggests there are ways that families can save money when it comes to college. If possible have your student live at home instead of on campus. She also suggests that you start looking now for other scholarship opportunities that could benefit your child.

There’s a lot of scholarships out there if kids will apply for them.

The key is actually applying. Many thousands of dollars in scholarship monies go unused every  year simply because no student has applied for the funds. It takes some research and due diligence but there is money available. Even without scholarships there are other ways that kids can help out their parents when it comes to funding a college education.

Work study is always a possibility, and then there’s always loans.

Your high school guidance counselor should have more information on how to apply for those loans and grants. The bottom line is this, just because TOPS money may or may not be there is no reason to give up on your dream of a college education.