How to Help Your Kids Pay for College February 16, 2021 – Posted in: Tips – Tags: , , , ,

Some parents are fortunately able to pay for their child’s college education in full, and some parents feel that the cost of education is the responsibility of their child. Many parents fall somewhere in between. If you want to help your child but aren’t able to swing paying for college yourself, there are other things you can do to ease your child’s financial burden.

Offer to Cosign for Student Loans

Whether your child will need to cover nearly all costs through loans or will only need to borrow a little, having you as a cosigner may qualify them for a lower interest rate. Private student loans provide your child with the needed funds for tuition and living expenses while attending school. Before committing to a particular lender, shop around for the best interest rate. Even a small percentage saved in interest will provide significant savings over the life of the loan.

Help Pay for Travel

Helping out with expenses when your child heads home over breaks can be a stress reliever. They know they need to come home but traveling around the holidays is often more expensive than any other time. Knowing that you will cover some or all of their costs for these trips allows them to relax and enjoy time with their family.

Let Others Help

When grandparents, aunts, uncles, or others ask for gift ideas, let them know that financial help is always appreciated. Of course, money isn’t the only thing that matters. Sending care packages containing useful items that can be hard to purchase on a tight budget, such as laundry detergent and toiletries, will be appreciated by your college student.

Offer Guidance in High School

The best way to make college more affordable is to minimize the amount of time your child spends there. Start in high school by encouraging your child to take any advanced placement courses offered by their school. Passing the AP exams at the end of the semester gives your child college credit, meaning one less class they need to pay for. CLEP exams are another way to earn college credit without taking a college course. If your child is good at self-directed study, they may be able to earn some CLEP credits over the summers during their college career.

A girl explaining other high school kids using science charts

Encourage Them to Help Themselves

Working, either during the summers or during the school year, is a great way for your child to earn some of the money needed for college. Even earning enough to pay for books and occasional treats means less money they will need to borrow. You know your child, so encourage them to do what makes sense for them. If they struggle with time management or are in a challenging academic program, working during the school year may not be the best choice. If they have experience balancing school and work in high school, working part-time during college may be a breeze. They mustn’t sacrifice their education for work. If they struggle to keep their grades up, cutting back on their work hours to free up time for studying or tutoring sessions may be the better option.

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