Teens, Tuition and Financial Aid

Teens, Tuition and Financial Aid

We see a typical trend when talking with parents about paying for their students’ college tuition:

The method each parent used to fund their own college experience is how they are subconsciously planning to fund their children’s college as well.

Views differ, from parent to parent, on how their child’s tuition will get paid. Some parents gift their child’s tuition to them, others expect their children to pay a majority of the cost. Wherever parents fall on the spectrum, we have items to prioritize when discussing the issue with your child. At the center of each point is communication with your son or daughter.

Work on GPA improvement and SAT/ACT scores

The first item of business, GPA growth and SAT/ACT prep, is between you and your children. Encouraging them academically, from an early age through high school, will benefit them in the long-run, should they pursue higher education.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

In 2016, it was reported that 85% of four-year college students, who applied through FAFSA, received some type of aid. There are multiple reasons to begin the process with FAFSA; all it takes is a little effort from you and your son or daughter. Don’t miss this opportunity to acquire funding for your student, including on-campus work-study possibilities.

Discover Scholarships

There are numerous opportunities for students to acquire scholarships. One of our favorite web resources, Scholly, helps you uncover many of those scholarship opportunities. In addition, don’t forget to ask your school’s counselor for ideas, along with local non-profit associations and community foundations.

Create Boundaries

You and your child need to be aware of what you are personally capable of funding, alongside of scholarships and financial aid.  So, before you start scheduling campus visits, make sure that it is even feasible to cover the anticipated costs of those universities.  If the student isn’t aware of your family’s financial boundaries, there may be heartache and unmet expectations along the way.

Remember, the goal is to launch students into life with a college degree and as little debt as possible.

Most college-bound teens are not thinking about the dangers of student loans. Often, they are thinking about other motivators such as geographical preference or sports-fan allegiance. Beginning a discussion with your teen about college tuition, and how to pay for it, is one of the most crucial conversations you can have.

And whether your child is years away from college or just around the corner, consider a 529 plan to help them experience the gift of education.

If they don’t comprehend the gift now, we believe one day they will.

If you’d like to discuss funding strategies with Matt Syverson, who sits on the Treasurer’s Advisory Committee for the Kansas Learning Quest 529 Plan, please contact him today.

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