5 Ways To Help Your Child Plan For College

The college selection and application process can be a stressful time for students, as well as parents.

Here are 5 ways that you can help your child plan for college.

  • College Funding – It’s best to plan ahead for who’s going to pay for what.  Determine how much of your child’s education you’re willing to fund, and how much they will ultimately be responsible for.  The sooner you figure this out, the better prepared everyone will be.  This will give your child enough time to seek out grants, loans, and/or scholarships and this will give you enough time to save money.
  • Campus Visits – Go with your child to visit the top schools on their list.  Campus visits are a great way to get a true feel for the college or university.  Once you’ve visited with your child, let them visit again alone.  It’s important that you allow them to take the lead on this, as they will ultimately be selecting the school.  Some campuses even offer overnight campus visits to prospective students.
  • Income Taxes – Complete your taxes as soon after January 1st as possible so that your child can submit their FAFSA form early.  The FAFSA form requires some information from your taxes.  The earlier you submit the FAFSA form, the greater your child’s chances will be at getting the most financial aid.
  • Cell Phones – Make sure you check your child’s cell phone provider to make sure that the company has good service in the area where the school is located.  Different cell phone providers’ services work better in some areas than in others.  You will want to make sure that your son or daughter has a reliable cell phone in case of an emergency.
  • Student Credit Cards – Consider getting a student credit card for your child.  This should be one that they are ultimately responsible for paying.  Also discuss how it should be used for emergencies only and give examples of what is considered an emergency in your eyes.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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