College Financial Planning

C4L Logo  Many parents believe that their children’s college expenses will be very similar to their own experience.  Many children have not ever considered the costs associated with college.  Many assume that the majority of the costs of college will be provided by scholarships and grants from the government or colleges themselves.  But we have found that the cost of college continues to rise and that the impact of these costs have long term affects.  College financial planning is the most affective way to prepare for your college years.  Here is our number one college financial planning tip.

Start Early! 

We cannot stress this step enough.  The earlier one starts to plan for college the more likely they will be able to attend the college of their dreams.  Start Early!

Most people start thinking about college around the same time they start thinking about the SAT/ACT.  Since the SAT/ACT test have a direct impact on college finances, it seems logical that this marks the beginning of college planning.  The SAT/ACT test will be taken at the end of the 10th grade year or the beginning of the 11th grade year. That’s roughly in the middle of the high school years.  That means there are only two years left until college.  That is simply not enough time.  It is enough time to visit a few colleges, apply to your top college choices, buy college T-shirts, and make a decision on which college to attend.  But it is not enough time to make the financial adjustments that may be necessary to attend the college of your dreams.

Here at College4Less we offer free college financial planning nights around our community for high school students and parents.  The number one comment we receive at these workshops is, “I wish I would have known about this earlier.”  Take if from parents of high school students  in our community…START EARLY!

When should you start financial planning for the college years.  You can start with some kind of college savings account.  This can be started even before your child enters grade school.  In the middle school years meet with a college minded financial planner to assure you are financially structured with the college years in mind. Then in the high school years enjoy the college process minimizing the stress of the financial load.