|This is probably the most intensive short-term cash drain on any family's finances. Unlike most other big- ticket items, such as homes or automobiles, that can be paid off in monthly installments, college tuition must be paid out over a relatively short period of time. With tuition at staggeringly high levels throughout the nation, a family's commitment to provide higher education for children can be overwhelming.|
Ideally, a long-term plan for college education was initiated from the birth date of your college-bound student. There is no better way to ensure a child's education that a systematic savings plan. But this is not an ideal world, many of us must finance part of the college education out of the monthly family budget.
Before selecting a college, parents need to:
Determine how much funding can be available from conventional sources such as savings, income from the family budget, trusts, and part-time jobs, if more money is needed.
Explore the availability of scholarships, low-interest student and parent loans, second mortgages, and conventional loans.
Examine their own life insurance policies and retirement programs to ensure that college funds will be available in the event of their death.
Cost is not the only factor to be considered when selecting a college. While private colleges are generally more expensive than public colleges, they often have a wealth of financial aid programs that will make the tuition bite less severe. Many state and community colleges also have scholarships and loans available.
Libraries and bookstores carry many excellent college guides that give detailed information on individual college tuition charges academic programs. Keep in mind that most colleges have a financial aid office to assist students in determining when financial assistance may be available.
Tuition and associated fees increase by 6% each year (or more!)
About the Author
Cindy Morus (www.phelps-creek.com) is a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor and Certified Credit Report Reviewer. Contact her at 541-387-2995 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also the publisher and editor of "Women's Financial Freedom Monthly", an internet gazette dedicated to helping women and their families achieve financial well-being and peace of mind.
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