4 Numbers to Know Before Applying to College
Earlier this month, my article titled "4 Important Numbers to Know Before Applying to College" was published on CollegeXpress.
One of the biggest mistakes families often make in the college search process is not talking about money. They assume “everything will work out” or their student will earn a “full-ride” without really understanding how paying for college works. Parents often don’t want to let their students down, so they find a way to pay for a school. I’ve seen families sell their homes to cover tuition costs, take out thousands of dollars in loans, and drain their retirement accounts. But it doesn’t—and shouldn’t—have to be this way. If you start with the money conversation right away, the college search will be easier, less stressful, and less expensive. Here are four numbers you should discuss with your teen ASAP.
1. Your college budget
2. Your Expected Family Contribution
3. Percentage of need met and average student award amounts
4. Percent of students receiving merit aid and average award amounts
If you let your college budget guide your student’s search, they’ll create a financially sound college list. They won’t spend time on colleges that don’t award merit aid. They’ll save hundreds of dollars in application fees, and you won’t spend vacation days visiting schools that don’t work financially for your family. These conversations can be challenging, but it’s much easier to talk to your student about college finances before they begin their college search than after they’ve been admitted to their dream school. You’ll be modeling financial wisdom for them that they can hopefully take into the future.
You can view the article here.