By Gregg Cohen, Campus Bound Founder and President
At Campus Bound, we believe that finding a college that ‘fits’ each individual is extremely important. There are 3 core areas to determine if a college will position a student for a successful college journey and beyond. The first two – the academic program and non-academic factors such as size, geography and school culture, tend to get a great deal of attention and discussion. The third, the financial fit, often times does not receive the due diligence it deserves.
Many students and families will face a waiting period after college admission applications have been submitted and before the admission decision has been rendered. This is a perfect opportunity for families to familiarize themselves with the financial side of the college selection process and begin planning on the financial commitment to come.
“I don’t think I’ll get anything, is it even worth it?” I receive that question often this time of year. Financial aid applications have been compared to a root canal so it’s not exactly something one would choose to do unless it was going to have some benefit.
By Campus Bound Founder, President and Financial Aid Lead, Gregg Cohen
I’ve heard people use the expression that being a parent can bring some long days but short years. The time can fly and there is no way to slow it down. Having helped thousands of people with the financial side of college, I know that many feel the same way about the prospect of paying for college. Generally speaking, this isn’t a deadline you can move. Unlike your retirement, where you may decide to delay a couple of years or get a second job, the first college bill will come quickly, in the summer after high school graduation.
Ever since your children were born you’ve been doing an impressive job holding the cash flow together. But does it feel like sometimes that you are bringing in money with a tablespoon and it is going out with a shovel? It can be so difficult to meet regular living expenses. Then throw in your mortgage, retirement goals, extra-curricular activity expenses such as club teams, cell phones, holidays, the occasional vacation and whatever you can do to provide yourself a little entertainment. Perhaps you even try to put some money into college savings. But now college tuition bills are on the horizon and that is going to throw off the balance in a big way. The shovel is about to be exchanged for a front-end loader!!!
I often get this kind of email from parents, “Hi Kristen. I know you will be meeting with my daughter (or son) soon and I wanted you to know that finances are a big concern of ours, as her parents. We haven’t told her that we can’t afford a lot for college, so we hope you will subtly work it into the advice you present. Thank you.”