12/29/2011 03:41 pm ET

Financial Aid Advice: High School Seniors Tackle Loans, Scholarships

For college-bound seniors, the big question isn't just whether you'll get into your dream school -- it's whether you'll be able to pay for it. Navigating scholarships, financial aid, and loan packages adds another level of stress to the college admissions process, and many students are finding themselves feeling overwhelmed by the necessary preparations for financing their educations. With college tuition costs and student loan debts at a record high -- not to mention the recession affecting family incomes -- more students than ever are starting to make preparations for paying for college before they even get accepted.

But it's not all bad news -- watch this video to find out how real students at Washington High School in Washington, Missouri are planning to make higher education affordable for them.