Plan for college early and save yourself a headache later!
Too often families come into our office during their child’s senior year to discuss college admissions and the planning process. “Where do I start?” they ask. My answer, “Years ago.”
We all look at our little ones and imagine their bright futures; successful, happy, educated, and cultured. We all want the best for our children, and this typically includes obtaining a college education to serve as the backbone for their future success. There are several actions we can take now, when our students are young, to prepare for a smooth and successful transition into college. Actions that benefit both them and our wallets in the long run.
Build on your student’s strengths and aspirations. The core of college prep begins with guiding your student to explore their interests and think about their own strengths. Focusing their extracurricular activities on these areas encourages students to set the bar high for themselves and think abstractly about areas for improvement.
Start saving ASAP. According to the College Board, tuition and fees at four-year public institutions have increased by 51% in the last decade (adjusted for inflation).* What does this mean for you? Start saving yesterday. 529 plans in particular are operated on a state level and are specifically designed to assist families in setting aside money for college funds. These plans offer federal advantages and also may be eligible for state tax deductions. The best part is that grandparents or other contributing members can also gift to an existing account.
Talk about the big picture. As your youngsters begin to have the ability to select their own language, science, and math courses, make sure that they see the big picture. Have a discussion with them to explain how taking challenging courses now impacts their path through high school. When children see rigorous courses as opportunities rather than requirements, they become more engaged in their own learning and school in general.
College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors is the nation’s most respected, complete and professional resource helping busy families raise smart, confident, well-adjusted kids. We’ve been a part of the Austin community since 2007, and have helped hundreds of busy parents carve out time for themselves with a sitter, have help on hand with a part-time or full-time nanny, or get their college bound student the tutoring they need to succeed. For more information, check out our website or call us at 512-372-8385.