The root cause of the struggles of funding college is exemplified In the article “Last-minute tips for paying for college” by Jessica Dickler. Her article is based on tips from two financial advisors – Richard Polimeni from Merrill Lynch and Liz Miller of Summit Place Financial Advisors, along with Joe DePaulo of College Ave Student Loans and Eric Greenberg of Greenberg Educational Group. From these so-called “Pros” she put together five tips on how to put together a successful college funding strategy – even at the 11th hour. One would think that these “tips” are provided as “it’s not too late to come up with a few last-minute strategies to ease the burden of the sky-high cost of college.” Let’s look briefly at each one and provide a bit of context respectively. (Click to view the article.)
1) Fill out a FAFSA – “Cobbling together”
Her point of filling out the FAFSA as a gateway to aid and scholarships for the next semester is absolutely true. Federal student loan funding will be available next semester for your student. There is the interesting phrase “you can cobble together a bunch of these”; this seems to indicate that there is no need to have an over-arching college funding strategy. This “cobbling together” often leads parents and students signing their name on any accessible funding source without understanding the consequences. In my experience, “cobbling together” is not a valid way towards creating a successful college funding strategy.
2) Take out a Loan – Really?
The first rule of thumb, which seems to be missed in this article, is that loans MUST be paid back. The second rule is that is missed: you sign it, it is yours. The thought process to Continue reading
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 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.
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
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.
“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 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.
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