A college education will open endless career opportunities for your kids, as well as give them immeasurable, eye-opening experiences that they will remember and cherish forever. But rising rates of college tuition can make it exceptionally difficult to find a way to pay for college. To help your child save for higher education and to ease the transition to college, explore the four following tips.
1. Work Hard in School
Excelling academically in high school can potentially earn and save you thousands of dollars. Taking Advance Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes will not only prepare you for a rigorous and rewarding college education, it could save you thousands on the costs of general education credits and courses. Excelling in academics makes you eligible for many different kinds of merit scholarships; similarly, if you devote yourself in athletics, music, art, or other extracurricular activities and student organizations, you can be eligible for a variety of scholarships. Explore all the opportunities you come across, and don’t limit yourself.
2. Savings Accounts
There’s an overwhelming variety of savings accounts that you can choose from to save for every aspect of your life. Choose wisely because the type of account you decide on will affect how you save, how and when you can access your money, and who will be responsible for the taxes and interest among other variables. Check out a few articles on savings accounts from The Wall Street Journal, US News, and The Simple Dollar.
3. Get a Part-Time Job
Once they are able, encourage your child to get a job. Finding a part-time position in retail, at a restaurant, babysitting, helping neighbors out, or tutoring are all excellent ways to earn money for college. Bonus points for having a job while going to school are that your child will learn to balance different responsibilities, learn new skills, learn how to budget, and contribute to their own educations.
One of the best pieces of advice in saving and paying for college is helping your child fully understand the responsibilities of college and paying for it. Be transparent in every step along the way of saving and paying, in understanding what loans are and how they work, and in applying for financial aid. Encourage them to do their own research on financing college, and have them talk to guidance counselors and college admissions officers to explore all their options.
Situations change and different variables come into play, but as long as your child understands the economic responsibilities that come with college, they will be well on their way to excelling in what they wish to pursue.