Saving for College

by brendon on August 17, 2017

Dropping your kids off at preschool becomes moving them into a dorm in the blink of an eye. With practical steps and effective planning for saving for college, you can reduce the financial stress for you and your family.


Offsetting the cost of college

For the 2013-14 academic year, the average annual cost (room, board, tuition, fees) of a four-year public school was more than $9,000 for in-state rate and nearly $23,000 for out-of-state. Private school topped $31,000. Saving for college is tough for any budget, but the good news? With diligent preparation, the cost of college CAN be tackled.

Saving for college - Important information from Brendon Jenks, Kansas City Investment Coach with Wealth RenovatorsRemembering the full cost

The cost of college is more than tuition and room and board. In fact, the cost begins well BEFORE your student enters a lecture hall for the first time.

Standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT, are usually required for admittance to four-year institutions, and they come with fees, as do some college applications. Travel expenses for college visits should also be factored in.

When your student is at college, keeping in mind the expenses they will incur for the duration of their college career is important. For instance, will they live off-campus at some point? How much does off-campus housing cost in their preferred college town? What expenses might they incur when travelling to and from home? What fees are involved for books, technology, extracurricular activities, etc.? What is the cost of living in their preferred college town?
Keeping track of these potential expenses will help your student make a better informed decision of which school is right for them.

Scholarships and where to find them

Take stock of your student’s interests, talents and story. Are they talented at sports? Music? Drama? Writing? Do they have an above-average academic record? Do they regularly serve the community? Do they have an inspiring story about overcoming? You would be amazed what a student could potentially receive a scholarship for!

Talking with your student’s guidance counselor is one of the best ways to find scholarships designated for students who stand out in certain areas. An online search is another.

Be sure to also check with your student’s school of choice. They may offer scholarships directly for academics, sports or other qualification.

Lastly, always check with your employer. Many companies offer scholarships to employees’ children.

The early bird gets the financial aid

The majority of college students in America receive financial aid in the form of loans or grants from the government or nonprofit organizations. Translated, this means a really large crowd of candidates is headed to the same job interview.

The key to increasing your student’s chances of receiving the best possible financial aid package for them is to apply early – as in the fall before the academic year the aid will be needed. Tax information can always be modified later if need be.

Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. More information about federal financial aid can be found on the FASFA website.

Never too late to start saving for college

Even if your student is already in high school, it is not too late to begin saving for college. You still have time to begin setting aside funds to help them pay for post-secondary education. Every little bit helps.

As your financial coach, I can help guide you in finding ways to not only set aside money but also make that money work best for you and your student. Give me a call at 913-696-1106 or click here to email me and let’s start a conversation today about the right strategy for your family.

-Brendon Jenks, Financial Coach

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