Worried about how you’re going to pay for college? Listen to this recording of a recent webinar with Klaar College Consulting and the College Funding Coach. The actual recording starts at minute eight, so please move the bar up to that point to begin listening.
Some of the financial topics covered include:
- Using student loans to manage cash flow.
- If you refinance your home to cover college costs, have a plan to pay it off.
- How to tap into other people’s money, such as with private scholarships.
- Understanding the family’s Expected Financial Contribution.
- What is need-based financial aid.
- How the 529 Plan works in S. Carolina.
Additionally, I talk about how parents should get together with their students at the beginning of their freshman year to put together a four-year plan leading up to applying for and getting admission to a college that’s a good fit and match (see below). For example, the student could start out with a few honors classes and then take AP courses. Colleges want students who have challenged themselves with a rigorous curriculum.
There’s nothing worse than graduating with a 4.0 but no challenging classes. Colleges ask “Where was the rigor, the intellectual curiosity?” Colleges also want students who have tried different things and are well-rounded.
Although college costs are soaring, a state college is not necessarily less expensive than a private college. Private colleges have endowments, and if your student is someone they really want, they will offer grants that may make college far more affordable.
The importance of Fit and Match:
- Will the student like other students there?
- Will he like the campus and surroundings? Is your student more comfortable in a contained campus with lots of open spaces, or one that’s large and crowded in a city? Close to the beach or the mountains?
- How about activities outside the classroom? This includes more than sports – there’s drama, debate, Model U.N., Beta Club Community service, and more.
- Also consider the weather. A northern campus that’s pleasant in summer may be freezing cold in winter!
A good fit and match mean your student is much more likely to graduate in four years, and not transfer to another college and lose precious credits. My students almost all graduate in four years, but the average graduation time is a pricey six years!