One of the most important college financing questions parents and their student should ask during the college admissions’ process is:
“How much can we afford to pay for college, considering our monthly budget?”
Unfortunately, most parents tell me that this is a topic that they worry about late into the night, but don’t ever discuss with their young adult. Why not?! She is getting ready to embark on one of the biggest and costliest transitions in her life.
As parents, we pray that we have guided her over the past 18 years in making good social and career choices about her life. Why aren’t we partnering with her in making good financial choices about her future as well?
After all, most students in 2016 left college with loan debt that exceeded $37,000! Wouldn’t we all like to minimize the amount of loans that are needed? Having an open discussion that culminates in a realistic college financial plan before
the busyness of senior year begins will cement her dreams for making college a reality.
As an independent educational consultant with years of experience, the first step I take to support families in the college affordability process is to lead a discussion about budgetary issues, expectations, and goals.
I Create a Place of Trust
As a nationally certified counselor and a member of IECA, I am bound by rules of confiden-tiality. It is important to me to create trust with the family- trust that is accepting and non-judgmental as I negotiate these often-emotional discussions.
In my experiences, families then finalize a realistic amount that they can afford, and what they can want or need their daughter to pay. Most students’ today have at least one job while in high school, which will usually provide them with enough income to at least pay for books.
Interested in learning about the four other steps necessary in determining college affordability? Contact me at: email@example.com