Ever wondered how you and your kids will relax to make decisions on college planning? This decision making is crucial especially when financial pressure is high and skyrocketing.
For this reason, it is paramount to keep in mind the worlds of Joe Allen, the University of Southern California former dean. In his words, ‘no perfect college is right for any student.’ Therefore, implies that there are lots of colleges out there that will perfectly fit every student. And most especially challenge them to be the best amongst their equals. In truth, the words of Allen are still bringing wisdom and comfort to a good number of students. However, this is not also limited to parents who are determined in finding the perfect college for their children.
Although there are millions of perfect schools out there, parents should consider so many things. Studies by experts have, however, shown that most parents are always anxious when their children are making a college choice. For this reason, the below tips are of value to parents. And it will help them to relieve the stress of planning for college.
Parents Should Stop Hovering
Sometimes, most parents get frightened, especially when their children are being admitted into new schools. ‘We are applying to your school’ is one of the phrases most parents often make. However, prompted Allen Cringe as he mentally pictured helicopter parents as they hover above during the admission process of their children.
Funny enough, most students have little or no say when it comes to the selection of school of their choice. And the resultant effect is that it will only increase the high level of stress their parents are exposed to. Additionally, it makes transition difficult and brings about dissatisfaction. For this reason, therefore, the student involved should be allowed to lead while the parents play advisory roles as college planners.
Parents Should Face Financial Facts
The in-depth knowledge of the cost of going to school is important to both the student and the parents. The amount of money expected from the family (also sometimes known as the expected family contribution) and the general premise on how financial aid works should also be understood. Additionally, the roles the student is expected to play, such as living within a strict budget or a work-study job, are also important.
College is usually paid in three ways. These ways are before entering, while the student is attending, and after college. Regardless of the means of payment parents and their children should see planning for college as an investment. Hence, it should not be seen as some ordinary expenditure.
Families must have saved a college fund of sorts through different means even before the student will be ready to attend. The 529 college savings plan and prepaid intuition plans are some of the methods available to parents. More so, the knowledge of how much the student is expected to receive both in grants and scholarships is important. They are, however; regarded as money the student is not expected to pay back or even work for.
How much the family will be able to pay from current income is also a factor to consider. Parents should have the mind to save for their retirement and other children. Retirement funds do not have any financial aid requests, so those monies should remain separate and untouched.
Another essential consideration in college planning is deciding the amount your child is expected to bring to his or her college expenses. Most students tend to do better academically when their paid work is limited to less than twenty hours per week. So school work tends to suffer when their jobs take up more than twenty hours.
Luckily, there are different ways one can get a realistic estimate. Families should, therefore, tap into some of these ways. In line with this, it is important to visit the college’s website and take a look at their ‘net price calculator’. The essence is to provide you with the amount the college will make available. It will thus, reduce one’s pocket obligation.
It is important not to rule out high-priced private colleges. So, most of them offer aid that helps to reduce the true cost for a family. And the interesting thing is that some of them provide aid that may be less than those provided by state schools. In truth, some of the excellent universities and colleges make enrollment accessible to their students. Amazingly, this is usually not for the very low-income students.
So, it is important to read how these colleges under consideration ward financial aid. It is, therefore, always advisable for one to wait patiently if his or her child is a year away from applying. However, if you have a more immediate need, it is highly suggested that you search online for the necessary information. Additionally, you can seek the services of experts to provide you with enough and much-needed information. It will help you on how to go about applying for financial aid.
Parents Should Accept the Use of Student Loans
Student loan tends to scare most parents. A reasonably borrowed loan is one of the most rational and smartest ways parents can invest in their children’s education. High student debt is usually based on an individual basis. Although it may draw the attention of public policy, it can be one of the smartest investments both parents and students can make. The student loan helps to get a higher education of the students. Therefore, it is usually given high payoff for a college degree.
Conclusively, it is without a doubt that a good number of parents are directly involved in their children’s lives. For this reason, they want the best for them. Interestingly, they want them to be more successful than they are. And this does imply not only monetary success but also academic success. It is for this reason that they are playing essential roles as college planners for their children.