The inbox ignites with recognition of years of hard work – your child has been accepted into college! As college acceptance letters go out across the nation, many parents and students are struggling to decide how to pay for it all. With the cost of an undergraduate degree having risen 169% from 1980 to 2020*, many students and their parents are taking out significant student loans to cover the tuition and living expenses. But is this necessary? Before committing years of your child’s future salary to student loan payments, consider these alternatives:
- School choice is the primary factor to ensure that your child can graduate debt-free.
- Living at home while attending community college or online school can save over $10K annually in room and board.
- Community college can save thousands in tuition, while allowing students to complete core classes before transferring to the school they desire to graduate from.
- Apply for scholarships! Many schools require completing the FAFSA to be considered for scholarships, even when they are not need-based.
- Work! Getting a part-time job while in school can help decrease the need for loans, while often increasing students’ GPA as they stay more focused and organized.
- If your child has more time before graduation, ramp up savings for college through 529 plans or ESA’s – we can help!
By setting a clear budget for your child’s college education, this can be a graduate-level financial experience, allowing your student to participate in the funding of their education. The average college student loan per borrower is nearly $30K**. By navigating the road to higher education together, you can help free your child from this burden at graduation.