It’s September and for many parents, that means it’s time to send the kids off to college. And while getting a college education seems more important than ever, tuition and student loans can weigh heavily. Before the semester starts, avoid the stress that stems from these responsibilities and take the time to stop and review how you and your child will handle college expenses over the next four years.
Here are several helpful tips and reminders for students and parents to get the ball rolling:
For students: College represents a formative experience in a young adult’s life. For many, it also marks the first time in which they are responsible for their own finances. Before your student heads off to school, arm them with the tools to succeed in handling their finances. Establishing sound financial practices now can lead to long term stability in the future.
For parents: Often parents are the party ultimately responsible for paying the tuition bill. Today, there are numerous online tools, calculators, and more that can aid you in paying and managing the costs of college. Just like any other bill, it’s important to stay organized and on top of tuition – make sure you’re taking advantage of the many online tools available to help you do so.
For parents and students: Before the semester begins, take a moment to sit down together and make sure you’re on the same page. From confirming that your FAFSA is finalized and tying up loose ends with any scholarship opportunities, to factoring in additional living expenses to avoid any surprises, create a manageable budget and financial plan that you and your child can adhere to moving forward.
College is a wonderful time – don’t let finances distract you from the fun the next four years hold. When it comes to college expenses, planning ahead, staying on track, and simply having a conversation about money management can go a long way toward a financially stress-free college experience.