Ah, the high price of higher education. I can’t tell you how many bewildered parents in Red Bank, NJ and throughout Monmouth County have approached me with questions about saving for college. It’s a topic that serves as a daily source of anxiety throughout the country.
The big myth about applying for financial aid is that worrying about saving for college is an issue that affects only the impoverished. That’s far, far from the truth. Money is consistently a hurdle when it comes to providing a quality education for our children. Many of my clients have the goal of saving for college for their children (and, for some, even their grandchildren). So I make it my goal to help them meet their goals. There are plenty of strategies available to help cut expenses and make college more affordable.
Tips for Saving for College
I recently came across an invaluable resource about saving for college that I can’t wait to share with you. In “7 Ways to Cut College Costs,” college expert and journalist Lynn O’Shaughnessy provides a step-by-step guide designed to help worried families sort through the minutiae of financial aid and create a plan to save for college. Among the highlights:
- Know your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is an estimate of a family or student’s ability to pay for a college education for one year. The dollar figure ultimately determines your eligibility for federal need-based aid and/or state and institutional aid, and can give you a good idea of whether the pursuit of merit awards is in your future. Determining your eligibility is the first step in whittling away at that tuition bill.
- Graduate on time – or early – to keep costs way down. Four years (or less) is the golden standard in the minds (and wallets) of many parents, but it’s not always the practice. Those footing the bill would do well to do research on college graduation rates before the application process even begins.
“7 Ways to Cut College Costs” also provides links to helpful planning tools, such as calculators that can help parents and students estimate their EFC, as well as “net price calculators” that estimate college costs based on academic strength.
Consult with a financial advisor
My wealth management company was founded with a commitment to custom investing plans tailored to the needs of family. If saving for college is a priority for you, I’ll make it one of mine, and I’m never more than an email or a phone call away at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-800-2375.