Trevor Mizrahi is the President and Founder of Premier College Guidance, a Ventura County, CA based organization that has helped hundreds of families navigate the college admissions and financial aid process. Motivated by the belief that college should be affordable for all Americans, PCG has devoted countless hours and immense energy developing the most powerful information available to help parents and students maximize their award packages.
Most families (and people in general) wait until the absolute last minute to do everything.
That’s why very few people end up financially prepared to pay for weddings, homes, retirement, and college educations for their children.
Well, since we only have a limited amount of space we’re going to discuss 4 little-known reasons why you should start planning for your child’s college education in their JUNIOR year of high school (if not earlier).
- Reason #1: Money Saved In The Wrong Places Could Cost You A Fortune In Lost Financial Aid.
Did you know that money saved in the wrong places could count as much as 7 times more heavily than money saved in the right places?
It is important that you determine which assets you have accumulated in the “wrong” places so you can either gift, transfer or reposition them before you have to apply for financial aid.
If you wait until the last minute to do this (the end of your child’s senior year), it will be too late to change your financial picture, and you will end up losing thousands of dollars in financial aid that you would have been eligible for.
- Reason #2: You Must Know How Much Your Family Will Be Expected To Contribute Towards College Costs.
No matter which schools your child ends up applying to, the government will expect you to pay your fair share towards the cost of college. They call this your “Expected Family Contribution” and this is the minimum amount of money any school will expect you to pay towards your child’s education.
The sooner you know what this number is, the sooner you can start saving to accumulate at least enough to cover this minimum amount.
If you wait until the end of your child’s senior year of high school to find out what your family contribution is, you will have no time to do any saving – and this means borrowing more money to cover the costs of your child’s college education!
- Reason #3: You Want Your Child To Pick Schools Based On The Schools Ability To Give You Money.
Most students and parents pick schools whimsically without giving any consideration to which schools have the best ability to meet their financial needs.
What happens is that most students start picking schools towards the end of their junior year, visit them during the summer, and then start applying to them in their senior year of high school.
The entire process is very costly between travel and application expenses, and most students and parents are stunned at the end of their senior year when they find out there is no way they can afford most of the schools they applied to!
This scenario can easily be avoided by finding out which schools have the best histories of giving good financial aid packages – more FREE money, less loans!
By finding out this information in your child’s JUNIOR year of high school, you can avoid spending time and money traveling and applying to schools that will never be able to give you the money you need.
- Reason #4: You Must Start, At Least, One Year In Advance If You Want To Apply For Private Scholarships.
Although private scholarships only make up 3% of all the money that exists for college funding, it still can be worth looking for some of these funding sources.
Private Scholarships are sources of FREE money that never have to be re-paid.
Private foundations and organizations offer them to students based on their ethnic background, religious affiliation, talents, hobbies, skills, interests, athletic abilities, etc.
You can only get these sources of funding if you apply for them, and you can only locate and apply for them if you start looking in your child’s JUNIOR year of high school.
* * *
These 4 little-known reasons could mean the difference between you getting thousands of dollars in college funding or not being able to afford to send your child to the college or university of his/her choice.
HOBY’s CAP program will provides assistance to families and Ambassadors through the college financial aid process. Our team will take you through the web of financial aid process, ensuring the necessary forms are completed in a timely and accurate manner.
Our team consists of former advisors who worked in the office of financial aid for California universities and college advisors who have helped individual families navigate the many obstacles of receiving college aid.
Learn More: http://www.hoby.org/college-aid-planning