A critical component of the college search that often goes overlooked is how the role of the cost will factor into the selection process. Along with finding colleges that will offer the right academic and non-academic features (location, size, culture, etc), it’s important for families to find colleges that also meet the right financial fit.
For many families, this is a very challenging conversation to have and because of that, it usually occurs too late in the process after acceptances are received or even once the first bill arrives in June. Waiting too long to have this conversation can put the student and family in a difficult financial situation and increase tensions during a time that should be filled with excitement.
At Campus Bound, we believe that this conversation should be ongoing, as the cost is a critical factor to consider while building the college list.
Complicating this conversation is that the actual price of a college education is not as transparent as other large purchases. The sticker price is typically not the price that most students are required to pay.
So where is the first place to start? Establish your budget and have a plan for how you can pay for all four (or five in some circumstances) years of educational costs. There are many different ways to pay for college as well as different ways you can reduce the cost of education. After establishing the budget, you want to search for schools that will be a good financing fit ensuring you factor in any expected discounts from the college.
Sound overwhelming? It can be! There are so many moving parts to the process, but we at Campus Bound can help you with all these pieces. Give us a call or email to set up a simple, FREE, no-obligation discussion and we can help you to start assessing your budget, financial aid eligibility, and for the rising seniors, and some initial projections on aid from target colleges.