Hopefully you planned ahead and have a nice chunk of change set aside for the costs of college.
Figure out how much you’ll need for junior’s education with the Save for College at VISA USA’s education website Practical Money Skills.
If your savings come up short, don’t despair — there are a lot of things you can do to cut those education costs.
- Look at all types of scholarships. Many scholarships are not based on need. For example, merit, athletic, and music scholarships are often available to students who excel in those areas.
- Apply to a variety of colleges. Aid packages can vary significantly from school to school.
- Negotiate. If you are not satisfied with the aid package a school offers, talk to the university.
- Start your child at a community college. Two-year colleges are a lot cheaper than four-year universities, especially since most students live at home while attending. First, however, your child should determine which four-year college he/she will transfer to and make sure that all credits from the community college are transferable to the four-year college.
- Encourage your child to accelerate his/her studies by taking some summer classes or extra credits throughout the year. It’s possible to finish a four-year degree in three years. That means considerable savings for you.
Even if you’ve flunked savings, with financial aid and scholarships you can soar to the top of the class.