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College Planning: 5 Easy Steps

College Planning: 5 Easy Steps
February 13, 2015 Brian Safdari

Step-by-step

College Planning Experts was in the media today! I was asked to be interviewed for a college planning blog on WhoTrades.com. After my interview I thought the last I could do would be to share the topics with you.

If you’re starting to think college, then pay attention!

1.) Don’t think your child is too young to plan

This kills me every time! Colleges start to see “pre-packaged college applicants” when high schoolers delay the thought of college until later in their high school careers. If you want to get a handle of this process then start early. I recommend beginning the planning piece (I mean really beginning) in 8th or 9th grade. By then you’ll be able to take a long list of To-Do’s and map them out over a span of 4-5 years. This is much more manageable and it allows your student to find his/her passion.

Not to mention, a college degree costs anywhere from $80,000-$300,000. If you’re going to invest that much money into a college, then why not do a little research 4-5 years out? You’ll be in a better place to find financial aid and to fund the cost of college without going into extreme debt or losing your retirement.

2.) Research is key

You have to research. There are over 4,000 colleges out there. Which ones are the right ones for your child? If you start researching schools, admissions requirements, financial aid office policies, grants opportunities, etc. then you’ll be in a better spot come senior year. Start to understand your child’s academic situation and your family’s financial aid situation early. it will really help!

3.) Get a Rolls-Royce Education for the cost of a Kia

You read that write. Private schools often have better endowments and more money to give. These generous schools give better financial aid than public schools making the cost of a private education less than a public education. If you know which schools are generous and their formulas for giving aid, then you’re going to reap the rewards. You can get a world class education for less than what it would cost to stay local.

4.) Negotiation is key

You would never take the first price offer you get when buying a car, so why would you take it when financing your child’s college education? You should absolutely negotiate for a better deal if the award given is no up to par. Use other school’s offers as a competition piece and ask for more money.

5.) You need the degree

If you want a good paying job in this country then you really should have a Bachelor’s degree. It is the general pre-requisite to almost all of the career job postings you’ll see. The cost can seem overwhelming at first, but in the long run your child will have more opportunities for success. Invest in a degree, and do it wisely. Know what majors feed into specific careers, and know what colleges are really good at those majors.

If you want to learn more… call us! We’d love to schedule you to come in and chat, one-on-one. (661)295-9946!

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