We as parents with college-bound students often feel overwhelmed and anxious with the pre-college process. We ask ourselves: who can help us? Who are the best college planners in our area?
Driving this sense of insecurity are questions such as: How do we figure out which is best college is for our child? Do we need to hire a tutor for our child? How and when do we apply to college? Will our child get accepted into their first-choice school? How can we best afford college? What should we be doing now to help our child? How can we be assured that the decisions we make today will benefit our child in the best possible way?
These are all legitimate concerns. However, the wonderful thing is, you as parents are the best people to decide the appropriate college preparation approach with your child!
Part of the sales cycle for the college consulting and the tutoring industries is to play on the insecurities of the parents. This insecurity is greatly due Continue reading
Most parents (and grandparents) understand that someday soon college will be at their doorstep for their children. The post-high school education decision will be at our very own door. This knock on this door demands being opened. We will then begin to truly sense as parents whether we were well prepared or simply have been going along, hoping for the best. How we have fulfilled our unique role – namely being parents as teachers for our children- will then become clearly visible. Our children’s Continue reading
“I wish we would have known more” replied one of my classmates at our 35th class reunion. Thirty-five years ago I graduated from High School and this this past week we our class reunion. This was the first class reunion I had attended. Many of us shared stories not just of our high school experiences, but also of our own college experiences. A few added college experiences of their own children. Needless to say, planning for college is a central task of being a parent. Here are a few take-aways which may help you.
My classmates shared a central feeling about post-high school education: “It is terribly expensive!” For those who saved, they felt they had not saved enough. Saving for college is anything but easy. The simple day-to-day living expenses Continue reading
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