Once you nail down the amount your family can afford to pay for college OR are willing to pay, it’s time to deliver that message to your student. This is an essential step if you want your student to participate in the planning process, and, let’s face it, most families do. While the cost of school shouldn’t be the only driver of your student’s college choice, it certainly is a primary qualifier.
So, what should this conversation be like? Every family is different and you know your student best, but here are some pointers you can consider.
How To Have The College Discussion
Present the numbers as a starting point. Some numbers may be hard and fast (how much you will contribute from your savings?), while other numbers may be adjustable (how much will come from the student working a summer job?) or estimates (how much your student can win in outside scholarships?).
Give the student some wiggle room so they feel they have some amount of control over the school budget.
When it comes to an appropriate amount of student loan debt, make sure the student understands and is comfortable with the long term effects their decision will have on their financial future.
Give off positive vibes. Let your student know that there are lots of great schools out there and lots of ways to achieve their goals. Try to take the emphasis off of finding the money to pay for the ONE PERFECT SCHOOL and shift the conversation to finding A solution that gets them where they want to go for the long term.
Encourage them to think outside the box and look for solutions if the number available doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough.
Need help with this conversation and the planning that precedes or follows? Get in touch! Rynda@21finance.xyz.