If you have children and donít have a college plan in place, you may want to start thinking about starting one soon. Here are 4 ways to prepare for your kidís college education:
1. Start saving today. One thing is certain - you can never save too much money or plan too far ahead for your childís education. College expenses are soaring around the country at all-time highs. Itís a good idea to create a college saving plan and implement it a soon as possible. Even saving a little each week is better than no savings at all.
2. Plan ahead. Many parents think planning ahead only means saving money. While this is true, there are other things you should take into consideration well before your child is ready for college. Colleges often require an application fee when your child submits their application for approval. If your child applies to several colleges or universities, these fees alone can add up very fast. Start checking into every aspect of the application and college processes. Educate yourself on these extra fees and expenses so that you can plan for them accordingly.
3. Donít rely on school counselors alone. Be proactive in your childís post-graduate education. School counselors can be helpful, but often have a huge workload. Stay in contact with your childís school counselors, teachers and administrators. Ask how you can help, or what extra measures you need to take as a parent. Take an active part in learning what scholarship and financial aid programs your child should apply for. Your child may be able to apply for several types of financial aid regardless of your income.
4. Involve your kids. While you should take a hands-on approach to your kidís college education, donít do all the work for them. Let them fill out forms, pay application fees, and ask questions. Help them create a financial plan for their college years and even save up for some of the costs.
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