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College Planning for Parents and Students

A Really Big Decision for a Teenager – Often One that is not very Good

Deciding which college to attend is a big deal in most families. As parents, we often want to leave the college-decision up to our child. This sounds all find and good.  The same holds true for the pre-college process. For the most part, we expect our children make the best choices leading up to the college decision.

However, when we realize that only about half the students starting four-year colleges will finish with a Bachelor’s Degree within six years, at two-year colleges, only about a third of the students finish with an Associate’s Degree (or Certificate) within three years of studies, we might want to reconsider this approach. If the poor graduation rates are not enough to raise a yellow flag, just look around at how the $1.4 trillion student debt is impacting families and friends.

The Decision-Making Ability of a Teenager

While we understand the desire for parents to have the child make the decision, we want to express our reservations of having kids lead the college preparation process.  I think most us parents, looking back, Continue reading

How Do I Get Money for College?

College Bills must Paid

Every family with a student in college (post-secondary education) is confronted with their own “cost-of-attendance” expenses. The fact-of-the-matter is, these bills must be paid in a timely manner.  These outlays typically run between $8,000 and $70,000 per child/per year. The question at hand today is not so much where does one get money for college, but that of “how”.  Understanding the dynamics of the “how” is the first step in obtaining money for college.

Scholarship and Grant Funding

Scholarship and grant funding are the two most sought-after financial resources for paying college expenses. Neither of these need to be paid back. Let’s take an abbreviated look at both.

How to get Scholarship Funding for College

Scholarships are awarded based on the meritocracy principle.  The more “talent” the student brings to the college, the more the college will typically reach into their endowment resources to attract the student. We use the word “talent” to refer to the contribution your child would likely make in a certain field or discipline. For example, if this is a math program, then the talent is a “high aptitude in math”. If the program is sports related, then the talent would be “being able to run fast or throw the football with great accuracy”.   Each college or department within a college is looking to attract students they consider to be a “worthwhile investment”.  The more talent your child brings, the more “worthwhile” they are to the department. This attraction or enticement consists, in part, by paying a larger portion of the student’s cost-of-attendance expenses.Continue reading

3 Costly Myths about Planning for College

Don’t Assume College will work out

College is expensive. Most families just don’t realize how expensive it can become. Making college affordable for each of your children begins with avoiding misconceptions. Part of the problem is that many parents believe the following three college preparation myths.

Myth 1: Planning for college “next year” is soon enough

“My child is only in 7th grade; we can start thinking about college preparation in a couple of years.” The first myth is the belief that the college decision will work out just as well when we start “next year” as opposed to starting today.

Time is a very valuable asset in the college preparation process. Many of the individual processes required for a quality college decision – such as career selection – take both and time guidance to maturate. Continue reading

Planning for College

Questions about Planning for College

Planning for our children’s post-high school education is both an exciting and daunting task. As parents, we understand the magnitude of the approaching college decision. Valid questions fill our minds and hearts such as: Will our child pick a good school? Will we be able to afford it? Will our child graduate? Will our child be admitted? Will our child be happy with the chosen major? These are just a few of the concerns we have regarding our child’s college decision.
To have the best results, we as parents must master the two major components of preparing for college.

Planning for College Correctly

Guide your Children towards College Success

The imperative of our time with regards to preparing for college is this: Parents! Guide your children towards college success! Do not leave it up to the Middle and High Schools or so so-called college advisor or coach. Understand this: as parents, you are in the best position to assist your childrenContinue reading

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