Monday, September 16, 2013

Start Early When Preparing for College Expenses


If you're the grandparent of a recent high school graduate, you're probably filled with many different emotions. Chances are that you feel excited for your grandchild's accomplishment but are also nervous about the future. The cost of college increases each year, and room, board, and rent aren't cheap, either. Add in the cost of textbooks, new clothes, and apartment belongings and the opportunity to go to college may seem slimmer than ever. There are, however, a few ways you can help your grandchild succeed should he decide that college is right for him.

First off, look at scholarships. Help your grandchild fill out his FAFSA to find out what sort of federal scholarships and grants he may qualify for, but also look at local scholarships. For example, many colleges offer private scholarships to students who choose a certain major or students with a certain background. A scholarship will help reduce the cost of attending college and can free up extra money that you would normally have spent on tuition.

It's also important to talk with your grandchild about financial responsibility. If he's ready, consider taking a trip to Lexington Law to meet with a financial adviser. A professional financial adviser will consult with you and your grandchild to talk about how to prepare for the future financially, how to make good financial decisions, how to avoid falling into debt, and how to resolve current debts if this is an issue. Additionally, your lawyer will be able to discuss different investing options for your grandchild to consider even while he is in college.

Finally, make sure you help your grandchild find an inexpensive, yet cheap place to stay. Remind him that it's more important to live within his means than to impress people by showing off how much money he has. It's easy for students to get caught up trying to show off to their friends and do things like buy a brand new car or charge an expensive sofa, but the truth is that these things are unimportant. A secondhand car or a secondhand couch work just as well as brand new items, yet don't mean going into debt to acquire. Remind your grandchild that what matters is his personal education and not making friends who need to be impressed.

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