Sending your children to college is a huge financial undertaking. The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2019-20 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for in-state students at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state students at public colleges, according to the College Board.
But it is possible to budget for your child’s college education. You just need a plan. In this post, we will share some tips to start budgeting for your child’s college education.
The first step is to accept that college is expensive
The first step in budgeting for college is accepting that it is expensive. There, I said it. It is the truth, and it is not going to change, no matter how much we all wish it would. tuitions are rising faster than most other costs and, unless your child is planning to go to a community college or state school, the price tag for a good education is going to be high.
But that does not mean you cannot do something about it. In fact, starting to save and budget for college now is one of the smartest things you can do for your child's future.
Start saving as early as possible
The best way to ensure that you will have enough money saved for your child's college education is to start saving as early as possible.
It can be tough to find extra money to save each month, but if you make it a priority, you can do it. Try cutting back on extras like dining out and cable TV and put that money into a college savings account instead.
If you wait until your child is already in college, you will likely need to take out loans or dip into your retirement savings in order to cover the cost. Start now and you can avoid all that stress later on.
Get creative with scholarships and grants
There are a variety of scholarships and grants available for students, and many of them do not require repayment. You just need to do a little digging to find the right ones for your child.
Start by talking to your child’s school guidance counselor. They can help you identify scholarships and grants that are specific to your child’s field of study or area of interest. You can also search online for scholarships and grants that are open to anyone.
Another terrific way to get started is by looking into community organizations or religious groups that offer scholarship money. There are also private companies that offer scholarships, so it is worth doing research to see if your child is eligible.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of ways to get financial assistance for your child’s college education, so do not be afraid to get creative!
Be prepared for financial aid
When it comes to budgeting for college, one of the most important things to remember is that you may not have to pay for your child’s education upfront. There are a number of financial aid options available, and it is important to start preparing as early as possible.
There are a few distinct types of financial aid available, and each one has its own set of requirements. The most common forms of financial aid are scholarships, grants, and loans.
Scholarships are typically awarded based on merit or need and do not have to be repaid. Grants are also given based on need and do not have to be repaid either. Loans, on the other hand, do have to be repaid, but they typically have lower interest rates than other forms of debt.
It is important to remember that not all students will qualify for financial aid, so you should start planning as early as possible. There are a number of resources available online, and your child’s school should also be able to help you get started.
It is never too early to start budgeting for your child’s future. By following a few simple steps and creating a plan that works for your family, you can make sure your child has the best chance at attending the college of their dreams. Remember, it is important to start early and to be flexible so that you can adapt as your child’s needs change.