Higher education is not cheap by any means. However for those wanting to pursue professional careers it is an absolute necessity. For those without bank accounts that are overflowing with money it can be stressful in determining how you are going to afford to send your child to college or university when the day comes. Let us look at the options that are at your disposal.
The earlier you can start preparing and planning for your son or daughter’s college education the better. In fact the day after you come home from the hospital with your new baby would be a good time to start! If that is not possible then it is still advisable to begin saving sooner rather than later.
Sit down with your spouse (and other family members if they are involved) and do an accurate appraisal of how much money you can afford in terms of higher education. While you may make the decision to take on some debt you do not want to take on so much that it will have your finances spinning out of control and will invite boatloads of added stress into your life! While attending a private post secondary institution may seem posh the price for attending a public college or university is often half the price (and the education received is just as worthwhile).
Another way to reduce higher education costs is for your child to begin his or her studies at a community college and then transfer to another higher education institution. In this way the student could attend classes at a nearby university that is affiliated with the community college but pay the tuition at the college at which they are enrolled.
Scholarships and school grants are available if you take the time to do your homework. There are many private schools that are willing to reduce tuition costs in order to attract the students that fit in with the philosophies and mission of the schools in question. Find out what schools are looking for the type of grades and SAT scores that your son or daughter has as many scholarship programs are based on academic performance. Still others are based on the extracurricular activities of the student. Look for a school that holds the type of activities your child is involved with in high regard. Some scholarships pay partial tuition while others pay full tuition.
Another way to save money is to make sure that your child takes high school advanced placement (AP) courses. In this case the student can begin college as a sophomore and the savings in tuition is up to 25 percent.
In years past attending university and graduating with a four year degree was the ticket to getting a good job. Today some of the top job prospects require only an associate’s degree or some type of vocational training. That means that the student could attend school for two years or thereabouts and then be working in his or her chosen career soon after graduating. Examples of these types of jobs include personal trainers, sales personnel, support staff in the legal field and interpreters.
Thorough research and careful planning are both key elements that are necessary when it comes to figuring out how to pay for higher education. What works for one family may not work for another. You may find as well that more than one method can be combined to make paying for college not so distressing on your bank account!