In 2014, more than half of high school seniors in the United States had applied to a college or university for the fall. With the number of high school students who are going to college growing each year, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you and your child will pay for it. Will you foot the bill entirely? Will you expect your child to pay for their college experience, or will you share the expense?
No matter how you plan to split the pie that is college expenses, having a plan in place will help the process go more smoothly. Use these tips to get an A+ on saving for college:
- Meet with a Financial Advisor. Centra Financial Services offers free financial guidance. Meet with a Financial Advisor early, because the earlier you meet with an advisor, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to meet your savings goal.
- Make a Plan Early. Decide how you want to contribute to your child’s education and make those parameters clear early on. You’ll be more likely to stick to the plan if you’ve discussed it with your child early on.
- Don’t Sacrifice Yourself. Many people want to contribute to their children’s education financially, but don’t do it at the expense of your own financial wellbeing. If you have to make a choice between saving for your retirement and your child’s education, choose your retirement. Remember, it will cost your children more down the road if you need them to help you financially during retirement, than it will if they simply must pay for their own education.
- Help Your Child Make Wise Decisions for Their Education. When it comes time for all your hard work saving to pay off – when your child is making a college decision – help make the decision a good one. Attending an expensive private school to get a degree that will lead to a below average salary might not be the best choice. Making decisions that will pay off down the road can be hard for teens, so help steer them in the right direction for their future.
Don’t get so overwhelmed by the thought of saving for college that you don’t do anything at all. Saving a little is better than saving nothing and meeting with a financial advisor is a great place to start!