College may seem like a long way away for your children but now is the best time to think about it. It will be here before you know it and is one of the most expensive things in the world. You want your children to get the best education possible so here are some of the financial things that you really need to know, especially when applying for financial aid.
Start Saving Up as Soon as Possible
Have a college fund for your children from the day they are born. It doesn’t matter how much or little you save, putting some in each month will really help ease the burden.
That way you don’t have to worry about whether your child will be able to afford the best school or whether financial aid is possible.
Have More Than One School
When filling out the financial aid forms, put down more than one school. This shows the schools that your child has other options and the top school isn’t necessarily the best choice.
If they want your child, they are more likely to offer more to entice your child to enrol there. When there is just one option, it is clear that not much is needed for encouragement.
Apply Just After Christmas
Yes, there is a deadline in the spring but the earlier the form is in the better. January is when each school will look through the budget and start deciding and it is often on a first come first served basis.
Be one of the families that gets the full offer instead of possibly running out of money at the end.
Consider Ways to Save Money
Staying in state will help you cut the cost of your child’s education.
Your child could live with you until graduating or the cost may be less for the actual school. Look into all your options for saving money off the cost.
Look Into All Types of Scholarships
School scholarships are not the only options. Some will offer sporting scholarships while others offer them for great grades. Look into all the options available and determine whether your child can apply for any.
It may also be worth looking early on—like now—to get your child on the right track for the scholarship programmes available.
Consider the Government Loans
Too many parents are trying to keep their children out of debt but government loans can really easy the burden.
There is no need for you to cosign for the loan, which means you will never need to repay the money if your child can’t. However, this won’t cover the full cost but it eases the burden.
Encourage Your Child to Get a Job
Part time work can really help to fund college. You could encourage your child to take a gap year and work for a year before going to college.
This will allow him or her to save money that is used while studying.