Top 8 Financial Aid Planning Tips
We all know college can be expensive. How can you begin preparing for your child’s education now? Texas A&M University offers a lot of great financial aid planning tips for parents on their site. Here are 8 of my favorites:
- Create a college savings plan. Your greatest asset is time. The sooner you start saving for your children’s college education, the more time you will have for your savings to grow.
- Start early to ready yourself. Building academic and personal credentials takes time. Transcripts reveal academic achievements from the 9th to the 12th grades, so the 9th grade is a good starting point for high grades and test-taking success. Yet, acquiring a foundation for learning begins earlier in elementary school. The higher the G.P.A. and the higher the SAT/ACT scores the better your chances for academic scholarships.
- Get involved in school and community activities. Good grades are important, but college and scholarship committees have many applicants with outstanding G.P.A.’s and test scores. Leadership, involvement and community service show a student’s potential, diversity and concern for others.
- You’re not going to receive any funding if you don’t apply for it, so go in with a positive attitude and apply for awards early and often. Financial aid is available along with millions of dollars in scholarships being awarded annually despite any economic crises.
- Meet deadlines and follow instructions.
- Make financial aid a part of your campus visits. Ask to speak with someone in the student financial aid office — it’s the best way to help your family become familiar with campus-based awards. Take some notes! They could come in handy later.
- Plan to live like a student while you are in school so you don’t have to live like a student after you graduate. Short-term sacrifices can make a difference in the long run.
- DON’T borrow more than you need. Remember you have to pay it back!
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