Attending college seems to grow more expensive each year. Where once an adult could afford it rather easily, now it can require thousands upon thousands of dollars and put you into debt for years to come. If you would like your child to attend college, and want to make it a little easier for them to afford, there are a few things you can do to help.
Start a Savings Account
The first thing you should explore is starting a savings account. This option is particularly useful if you have young children and a longer time to build up your savings. For example, if you have a newborn child and open a savings account now, you could have a decent amount saved up by the time your child graduates from high school. All it takes is putting away a little money each month and you can make a big difference down the line. Look for a savings account that provides the best interest rates for the best return on your investment.
Explore Loan Options
One of the more common ways to pay for college is by taking out a loan. However, there are many different loan options out there, and choosing the wrong one could lead to your child being in debt for a long time. If your child is older and looking to attend college soon, you should both explore the loan options available to you. Find ones that offer the lowest possible interest rate and come with different payment options. This guide can help you choose the right student loan for your situation.
Bring in Extra Income
Another option to help pay for college is by bringing in extra income. If either you or your child can bring in some extra money, you can put this away until it comes time to pay for college. For example, you could take on a part-time job either at night or on the weekends, or your child can start to work a job of their own.
There are also some other options out there to bring in more money if you need it. For example, you could take out a reverse mortgage on your home. With this method, you use the collateral you’ve built up from your home and turn it into tax-free proceeds that you may use for any purpose. Reverse mortgages are becoming popular with seniors as senior home equity reaches all-time highs combined with historic low rates. To learn how much you can get from a reverse mortgage loan, you can use this reverse mortgage calculator from All Reverse Mortgage.
Look at Different School Paths
Before your child settles on a school path they want to follow, it’s a good idea to explore all the options out there. For example, your child may be better off going to a technical school rather than a 4-year college based on their career ambitions. Another option is to attend a local community college first, then transfer to a 4-year university. Finally, attending an in-state school is typically more affordable than going out-of-state.
There are also ways to make attending college more affordable once they decide on a school. For instance, they could choose to commute to school if they live close enough rather than living on campus. Even small things like buying textbooks used can save a lot of money in the long run. Explore all the options available to your child before deciding on which path is best.
Get Your Child to Think About It Early
The last thing you can do is get your child to think about college early. Once they are entering high school, you should have them start to think about where they might want to go to school, what they want to study and how they will afford it. If you can get your child to think about college earlier, this will hopefully lead to better grades while in high school and teach them the value of money. This in turn can lead to scholarship opportunities or better financial aid from schools. When talking to your child about going to college, be sure they know what their other options are and instill within them the importance of considering the cost. Don’t let your child sign up for college without being aware of how it will impact their financial future.
Making Higher Education Affordable
With the tips above, you can hopefully find some ways to make it easier for your child to afford college. Going to college may never be cheap again, but you can at least help to remove some of the burdens by planning ahead and exploring your options. When your child is able to start their career without a significant amount of debt, they will certainly appreciate your help.