For most families, retirement planning is a top priority because having enough income and stability is necessary.
According to Nerd Wallet, many parents are putting away more costs towards their golden years than thinking or even planning the costs of putting their children through college. However, the cost of tuition increases rapidly every year so having a savings plan for your child's college education is probably a good idea.
When should you start planning?
According to College Board, the average cost of a year of private school in the U.S. is approximately $44,000. This includes tuition fees, rooming and board. Although not every student will be attending a private school, the price of education is still expensive so strategic planning is necessary.
Nerd Wallet suggests that students start planning for college the moment your child is born through elementary school. There are many types of tax-favored education savings account, such as 529 College Savings Plans you can consider to start saving.
Even if your child reaches middle school, it isn’t too late to begin saving into a 529 account. In private plans, you get a protection from increases in tuition and guaranteed returns. When your child begins high school, you can start considering financial aid options. Applying for FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) may offer scholarships, grants or tuition discounts based off your child’s merits.
Prior to school selection, make sure that your child is prepared for college admissions exams (SAT/ACT). Although it is not the only factor that is considered upon admissions, it helps sets them apart from other applicants.
Helping your child pick the right schools is a crucial part of the college planning process, but keep in mind that this is the first independent decision your child will be making on their own. Instead of limiting the amount of choices in the beginning, research different campuses and figure out where your child may be a good fit. Take advantage of campus visits to get a feel of the campus culture. Also consider the acceptance and graduation rate of the school. By starting this process early, you can apply for FAFSA as soon as possible.
At 7EDU, we have instructors and counselors with over 10 years of college guidance experience. If you have any questions and concerns regarding the application or planning process of college, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.