Affording College - a Guide for Students and Parents
Education is Getting Expensive
There is no good news about college tuition costs. They continue to escalate, generally at a rate inconsistent with the cost of living. You are earning less while facing increasing costs for college.
Parents - Start Saving For College Early
You have most likely already been warned about the failure to start saving for college early. Most investment advisors suggest as soon as your child is born, that you begin saving for their college career.
This will affirm a couple of things: first, it already establishes a goal and precedent—college is a given; plus, if you save accordingly, you could have college paid for well in advance. When you consult a financial advisor, which could be the one provided free-of-charge by most banking institutions, he or she will likely have a number of diverse savings options.
If you did not start saving early there are also other options that will help ease the burden of college expenses. We will explore these below.
Contact Your School Financial Aid Officer Early
Enough cannot be said about allotting adequate time to consult with financial aid officers and to research available financial resources. There are many financial opportunities, but you must make provisions to apply early enough to be considered.
Make sure to contact the appropriate personnel at colleges in which your child is interested, as soon as their sophomore year of high school. This way you have advance notice of deadlines for applications and financial aid requests, along with opportunites for bad credit or low income households.
High school guidance counselors can also be of assistance with helping you lay out a plan of action. A counselor might also have reputable financial assistance advice, as well as suggestions for a college or university that best suits your child’s personality, learning style, and career goals.
Tips for Prospective College Students
If your parents are like everyone else’s, then they are busy folks. Do not neglect to prod them about college savings. Ask them to help you complete the necessary financial aid forms well in advance. This is part of your responsibility and should emphasize to them your desire to pursue a college education.
Take time to explore the rest of our pages, including the resources for various types of scholarships, as well as tips for choosing an essay topic and writing a solid application essay. When you have the opportunity, try and visit the campuses where you will be applying. Sometimes what looks great on the cover of a glossy college brochure is the handiwork of marketing professionals.
Read through our site and soak it all up. High school senior scholarships is a good introductory guide. If you are still looking for a few more resources you may want to visit our list of scholarship tip sites or more scholarship searching resources.
Our List of Creative Saving Tips
Make sure you check out the feature article entitled, "118 Ways to Save Money in College".