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BEST PRACTICES FOR COLLEGE FINANCING

July 31st, 2020
 
Where and when to attend college and how to pay for it are questions every high school student asks. Those questions are especially relevant now, when the biggest question is whether in-person or online classes will be offered, and if the risk is worth the price of admission.
 
The goal of college is to provide an environment where your child can thrive and grow. It's super important, first and foremost, to match your child to a college experience that works best for them.
 
Aaron Greene, CEO of College Liftoff, presented on this topic at Gerber's Discovery event on June 3. If you missed his presentation, you can read about it on our websiteor watch the replay on our YouTube channel.
 
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a college for your child:
 
FIND THE RIGHT FIT FIRST. Your child should choose the college environment they feel most comfortable or most "at home" in. they are going to be spending (at least) 4 years there (and not longer if you can help it), so the college needs to be a place your child will be healthy, happy and independent.
 
CONSIDER POST-GRADUATION NETWORKS. Identify schools that have the networks for job placement after graduation. Some of th eBig 10 and Ivy League schools do a good job of this.
 
INVESTIGATE UNIVERSTIY-SPECIFIC SCHOLARSHIP AND LOANS. There will be inexpensive, middle of the road and super expensive colleges to choose from. Many schools have generous scholarships and loans available if your child is open to considering all options.
 
INVEST IN A 529 SAVING PLAN. In general, a 529 is a great college savings tool, and it's best to start saving early. Most people can't afford to save the entire amount anyway, but saving a substantial nest egg for college puts you in the driver's seat for making the best decision. 529s also offer flexibility when you have multiple children. If one child attends an expensive and another earns a scholarship, you can move money to child who needs it.
 
WHEN SAVING MONEY FOR COLLEGE IS NOT A GOOD THING. One could argue saving too much money is not in the best interest of the child, because you feel like you need to spend it. Maybe your child isn't ready to attend college. You may rush into the wrong college decision because you've already saved for it.
 
The college selection process and how to pay for it is a personal choice and there are many routes to success. It's nice to have choices, but you don't want to force your child into something that's not a good fit. Your child's happiness and opportunity to thrive is most important. As a parent, it's your job to help them navigate their options and choose a direction that's best for them.
 
How have you prepared for your child for college? Share with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!
 


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