College Cost, Scholarships & More

Paying For College & All You Need To Know About College Cost Scholarships & Affording Your Child’s College Education

The number one question that parents ask me is: “How am I ever going to be able to pay for 4 years of college?” It’s a big challenge for parents whether they’re amazing planners or they just started thinking about paying for college. Either way, I can help you.

When it comes to worries, you’re not alone. Parents with 529 college savings plans worry and fret over whether they have enough money in the account to pay for 4 years of college. Parent’s newly considering paying for college worry and fret about almost everything. These parents either ask me lots of questions about scholarships or hold up their hands and declare that their child isn’t going to college.

I don’t recommend surrender for many reasons. College is a huge gift to give to yourself and your child. I am here to help you navigate this opaque process and find your way into supporting your child with college costs, without an excessive amount of debt or sleepless nights

College Cost Scholarships
College Cost Scholarships

What do you mean by “college affordability?”

Affordability refers to the amount of money one would have to spend and/or borrow in order to complete an education that offers high income earnings in the future. In reality, college affordability is not so simple as identifying what the sticker price of a college education is, how much money people have available to pay for it, and the amount of financial aid students and families qualify for to help defray the cost.

How much anyone can afford to pay depends on the value of what they are purchasing. The question, “Is college worth it?” is really more appropriate than, “Is college affordable?”

No matter how much money one has available, spending it (along with considerable time and effort) on a course of study that a student is unlikely to complete, or that is not likely to lead to the desired goals even upon completion, is not affordable in any meaningful sense of the word.

When I work with families, I share with them not only the college’s sticker price and also the percentage of scholarships, grants and work study available. I work with the family to create a plan to offset as much of the projected debt as possible before the student has even completed the school’s application.

Some Good News About College Costs

College Cost Scholarships
College Cost Scholarships

I can assure you that there are colleges out there that are more affordable than not and scholarships out there that your child can access.

The #1 factor that colleges consider in admissions and also financial aid is the grade point average and transcript of the student. The higher the GPA, the greater chance of earning scholarship money from the college.

This year, I have two students who are attending college completely free due to the scholarships they received. This could happen to your child.

Below are the most common questions parents ask me as they explore paying for college. My candid answers are below and I encourage you to review and reach out. Let’s talk about what you’re worried about and how I can help make college more affordable for you and your child.

I can assure you that there are colleges out there that are more affordable than not and scholarships out there that your child can access. The #1 factor that colleges consider in admissions and also financial aid is the grade point average and transcript of the student. The higher the gpa, the greater chance of earning scholarship money from the college.

This year, I have two students who are attending college completely free due to the scholarships they received. This could happen to your child.

Below are the most common questions parents ask me as they explore paying for college. My candid answers are below and I encourage you to review and reach out. Let’s talk about what you’re worried about and how I can help make college more affordable for you and your child.

College Affordability FAQs + Common Questions

When should we begin the talk about paying for college with our child?

This is an important question. I believe that families should begin this talk at the same time the student is looking at colleges. When a family works with me, I share my Family Resources Worksheet to which will help you in the family discussion about finances and parent/child responsibilities.

What is the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition?

In state and out of state tuition will only be an option for state public universities. Students attending a college or university within their state are given a tuition break. This break usually amounts to $15,000 to $20,000 per year in savings if they attend one of the public universities in the state they are a legal resident in. If a student attends a public university in another state, their tuition costs are approximately an additional $15,000 to $20,000 per year.

How Do I Apply For Grants?

You don’t. Grants are awarded by the college’s financial aid office and are a part of the financial award letter your student receives.

What is a 529 plan?

A 529 plan is an investment account that offers tax benefits when used to pay for qualified education expenses for a designated beneficiary. You can use a 529 plan to pay for college, K-12 tuition, apprenticeship programs, and student loan repayments. If using a 529 plan to save for college, your savings will have a minimal impact on financial aid eligibility. Most families contact their bank or financial advisor to begin a 529 plan.

How do I apply for scholarships?

A scholarship is a specific amount of money set aside to support students. There are national, state and local scholarships. The first thing you need to know if there isn’t one database to look for scholarships. A good piece of advice for seniors is to check with your high school guidance office to find out where to find the information for local and area scholarships. I do offer a scholarship search service where I take the exhaustive research and guesswork out of the process for you. I find any and all scholarships the student is qualified for, along with the qualifications, requirements and deadlines. I also coach the student in writing essays that will support the student in being awarded the scholarship. If you’re interested in this service, please contact me so we can discuss the details.

Let’s Talk And Together We’ll Create A Plan That Works For You.

As a former special education teacher and school counselor, my knowledge of what’s required to pay for college, scholarships and affording your child’s education is extensive. Every year, I attend meetings to learn the latest information on the government’s FAFSA requirements. Contact me at dianne@launching college success.com or 240-285-1920 to explore how I can support both you and your student through this process.

Get In Touch!

Do you need help understanding the college admission’s maze? College is NOT what it was 20 years ago. Let us show you the ropes so your kid has a stronger chance of getting into college with less stress and less anxiety.