If you had a college education, then you’ll know how great it is. This is where you meet friends who will last a lifetime, and find out a lot about the world of work. Aside from that, you’ll go to some of the best parties that happen anywhere! Even if you didn’t go to college, you may want it for your kids. Here, I’ve written a post which will help you save for your kids’ futures, and clear up a few questions you may have.
You might be stuck in the common mind-set that an expensive college means a good college. There are some advantages which only prestigious schools offer, true. However, the money you spend on your kid’s education won’t have as much of an impact on what they get out of college. Although some studies have shown that graduates from more elite institutions earn more, your alma mater doesn’t indefinitely boost your earnings. After all, not everyone can waltz in and present themselves as a professor! If it looks like you can’t afford to send your kid to a prestigious college, then don’t start thinking it’s a disaster!
Although a college education is never cheap, it’s pretty rare that you’ll have to pay the entire fee. Just like you didn’t pay for your house up-front in cash, you won’t need to save up 100% of your child’s tuition fees. There are a variety of repayment options, like the Obama Loan Forgiveness scheme. These can spread out the cost, and ease the financial burden of a college education. This, of course, doesn’t mean you get off without a scratch. I recommend starting a fund now, and aiming to save up for around a third of the total cost. After that, set out a plan for paying another third through your income while your child is actually at college. Look at loan options for the remaining third.
Finally, I’ll give you a little practical advice. You and I might have loved college, but not everyone’s the same. The adjustment to college life can be pretty hard for some kids, but there are several things you can do to make it easier on them. For starters, make sure they have certain life skills which they’ll need when they get to college. Think carefully about how long you’ve taken to kick your kid out of the nest, and whether they’re really ready. They’ll need to be well-versed in laundry, cooking and so on. It’s also a good idea to get them a job in the lead-up to it. They’ll need to start paying for their own food and clothes once they’re out there. This is both to ease the burden on you, and teach them some responsibility. Get them acting like an adult earlier, and their adjustment will go much smoother.
It may be hard to see them leave, but college will do so much to enrich your kids’ lives. The financial and personal issues might feel stressful now. However, with the right approach, it will all become easier.