How to Prepare Your Child for College
The United States has long been known as a world leader in education. Our universities are some of the best in the world, and our public school system is also highly regarded. Because of the importance of education in our society, many high school students decide to go to college and pursue a degree. If you’re a parent looking to help prepare your child for college, we have some tips for you.
If you’re lost at where to start with preparing for college, we recommend investing in some kind of college savings account, filing out the FASFA, and helping your child research schools and programs.
How to Save for College
The sooner you start saving for your child’s college tuition, the better. Many families wait until their child is in high school to save, and effectively limit the choices their child will have. If you’re looking for ways to save for your child’s college tuition, here are two common options.
- A 529 Plan is an investment account that offers tax benefits when used for qualified education expenses. The downside to using a 529 plan is that if your child chooses not to go to college, or if they end up not needing all the money in the account, you will pay a tax penalty on the money withdrawn.
- Some universal life insurance policies allow you to use the cash value component for expenses, including education. Instead of using student loans to pay for college, you can borrow from your own savings and not have to pay interest.
We do not recommend putting college savings in a standard bank savings account, as these accounts earn very little interest.
How to Save on College Tuition
One of the biggest expenses we face in life is college tuition. Luckily, there are a few ways you can save money on your tuition costs.
First, you should consider applying for financial aid. There are a variety of different types of aid available, and you may be eligible for more than you think. The first step is filling out the FASFA with your child. The FASFA will give you an ‘expected family contribution’ number, that is the amount you will be expected to pay out of pocket. It will also tell you what federal aid you may be eligible for. You’ll also want to look into scholarships and grants that can help you cover your costs. Scholarships are offered through many different avenues. Look to see if local businesses or organizations offer scholarship programs and contests.
Another way to save money on your tuition is to take advantage of tuition discounts. Many colleges and universities offer tuition discounts for students who meet certain criteria, such as being a member of a certain organization. It’s also important to remember that in-state tuition is often less expensive than out-of-state tuition.
You can also save money on your tuition by taking advantage of credit exchange programs. These programs allow students to exchange their tuition credits for credits at another school. For example, in Central Ohio many students choose to take classes at Columbus State Community College, and then use those credits to transfer to The Ohio State University. Through this approach, your student can stay home while going to college, allowing them to save money on room and board.
Tips For Families on Their First College Application Process
The college application process can be daunting, especially for families who are new to the process. It’s important to talk to your child about the application process, and work through it together. Here are a few things you can do to make the process less overwhelming and more efficient.
- One of the best things you can do is to start early. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to research schools, visit campuses, and complete applications. You’ll also have a better chance of getting financial aid if you start the process early.
- Another tip is to be organized. Create a list of deadlines and requirements for each school your child is interested in, and make sure you meet all the deadlines.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are several resources available to help you through the college application process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s guidance counselor.
Keep in mind that in most cases, you will have to pay a small fee for each college application you submit. If you can only afford to apply to a few schools, make sure you let your child know that. Have your child thoroughly research schools they are interested in, and narrow down choices from there.
Why Parents Should Be Involved in Their Children’s College Application Journey
The college application process is an important time for parents to be involved in their children’s lives. There are several reasons why parents should be involved in the process.
- One of the most important reasons is that parents can provide support and guidance during what can be a stressful time. The college application process can be overwhelming and having the support of parents can make a big difference.
- Another reason why parents should be involved in their children’s college application process is that they can offer financial assistance. Many families cannot afford to pay for their child’s entire college education, so having the help of parents can be a big relief. Additionally, parents can often negotiate better financial aid packages for their children.
- Finally, parents can serve as a sounding board for their children during the college application process. It can be helpful for students to run their ideas by their parents and get feedback. Parents can also offer advice and guidance when it comes to choosing a school or major.
The college application process is an important time for parents to be involved in their children’s lives. If you’re a parent of a teenager, make sure you’re checking in with them throughout this stressful time.
Are you wondering, “what’s the best way to save for college”? We would love to help you find that out. Every family’s situation is different, and we’re eager to create a unique plan for you. Schedule a consultation with the financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions by calling 614-408-0004.