9 Tips to Making the Most of Your College Resources
As parents, we worry about our kids’ future and their ability to stand on their own two feet to support themselves. We want to fuel their dreams and see them happy. We long to witness them finding joy in a fulfilling career. We blinked, and suddenly our little baby is heading off to college.
That’s when the thought hits: the budget can’t handle the high cost of education, so there’s no choice but to rely on student loans.
Student loans have a downside
The fact is, most students who attend a university accrue student loans to help pay for college. It’s important to remember soon after graduation they’re obligated to start paying back these loans. This is also true for those who drop out of college. With a 41% drop out rate, devastated students find themselves embarking on adult life with several issues – no degree, no solid answer to “what do I want to be when I grow up,” and high debt with little or no ability to pay off their loans.
According to LendEDU, the average college dropout owes 14,000 dollars in student loans. Close to 53% of those who drop out aren’t making any payments toward their loans, while 47% are in default. This burden is compounded when you factor in high interest rates and late fees, which continue to accrue, significantly increasing the total balance owed over time. Many times, students pay twice as much as they borrowed due to fees and interest. Then factor in how defaulting on student loans, whether federal or private, impacts your student’s credit score, making it difficult to get a credit card, buy a car or own a home. Student loans chase them for life and cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy. When you put this all together, what you thought was ‘just a student loan’ and the means to a quality education, only ended up costing your student far more than ever imagined – not just financially, but emotionally!
9 tips to make the most of your resources
Spend the time and money required to help your college-bound student find career paths that fit their values, strengths and natural aptitudes, before deciding on a college. All colleges may provide similar majors and degrees, but they all deliver different experiences related to your student’s unique learning preferences and personality. The key to a successful college education is in selecting the best setting based on your students’ preferences and personality. A wrong career and college choice could cause students to drop out of college or graduate with a degree that they may or may not successfully use. It can also extend the number of years spent obtaining a degree. One way to alleviate this poor path is to help your student narrow down their best career choices by investing in a college career consulting coach. A Coach not only helps a student discover their best path forward, but can also boost their confidence to learn. As they discover how they think and process information and their environment, they’ll have a better idea of career paths that suits their gifts and personality.
If your student is unsure about their career path, consider having them take their Gen Eds at a community college before transferring to a university.
Do you have a hands-on student who can’t sit still and learns by doing? Consider a technical or trade school.
Reduce costs by attending a state school instead of more expensive private schools.
Start applying for grants and scholarships while your student is a Junior in High School.
If you’re looking into private loans, shop around for best interest rates and options. Once in school, if there is student loan money left over after you pay expenses, ask the school to return the funds to your lender. Consider paying the interest now instead of deferring it. The earlier you pay interest on your loads, the less money you will shell out in the long run.
Start a 529-college savings plan when your child is young.
Have your student take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school. Every AP class taken in high school is one less class he or she will need to pay for in college.
Your students can save on college tuition and prepare for college by taking challenging courses at a community college while they are in high school.
College is meant to give your student the best education to increase their chances of success in their career and in life. Accumulating large amounts of debt can be a crushing burden. Creative and alternate solutions can facilitate a smoother transition into adulthood for most students.
Does your student need clarity for their future? I’m here to help. Contact me today!