College fees have remarkably been high, and most of the parents can’t afford it at once without proper planning. Many are the times you as a parent, think you have got time before your children go to college and so you don’t think about it. At times the harsh economy leaves you with no choice but to have to tackle things at hand and not think about the future.
So, are you there and time has caught up with you, your child is about to sit for his/her final secondary school exams. You’ve got no idea where you’ll get the money from for his higher education, relax we’ve got a solution for you. The following are different ways in which you can still pay for your child’s education despite not saving for college in advance;
- Start saving immediately
Enough with the procrastination! Moreover, it’s never too late to start saving for university. So, go ahead and have a plan, and start saving as soon as now. Take advantage of the tax-free saving accounts such as 529 plan. It is one of the affordable reports as it only requires you to have $25 just as minimum funds. Another advantage of using 529 saving plan is; you can always transfer the money to be used by a different student. That means, in case your first born got other means to pay for his education such as scholarship, you can still be able to use the money in the account for your other child.
- Share cost with the student
Have a serious discussion with the student involved. Let them understand that you have no money at hand for their college, but you’re still willing to pay for him/her. In this case, you can suggest if the child has already cleared their O-level training, to take a year break, before they join the college.
It will be a great idea if your child can get some work to do during this period to generate some income and also save towards his/her education. Don’t feel guilty because of it as it also helps them to put extra effort on their studies knowing they’re paying for it themselves.
Meanwhile, here are some of the work your child can engage with;
- Shop attendant.
- Online jobs.
- Laundry work from the neighborhood.
- Selling fruits.
He/she can also be able to continue with some of these jobs among others while still in college to keep saving for his/her college.
- Let your child stay at home.
You can reduce the college fee by letting your child stay at home if their institute is nearby your home place. They can also use public transport as they go daily instead of paying the boarding fee. Alternatively, let your child share his/her room and cost share to minimize the required amount.
Let your friends and wealthy relatives help you to in raising your child’s college money. You can do this effortlessly by letting them pay directly to the saving account you have opened. Encourage them to do it especially during your child’s special occasions such as birthday, instead of buying him/her gifts.
Again don’t shy away, ask for their help if they’re capable and let them know your financial status as well, to contribute. Some grandparents have some savings specifically for their grandchildren and so let them go ahead and assist where they can.
- Consider a public college
Consider taking your student to a community college maybe for the first two years. They are much cheaper as compared to private institutes. You will buy more time to save more, and at the same time, your child will learn some skills in the process. However, it’s good you remember to transfer your child for further studies and degree courses.
- Apply for scholarship
Encourage your child to seek scholarships actively and apply. If he/or she has performed well in his /her previous classes, then they can get the scholarship without using much effort. Either way, scholarships can be awarded to any child depending on their merits. Some school will offer students who did well in their co-curriculum areas such as games. They can provide a great deal as some contribute all the college fees. A student is supposed to get more information about scholarships from his/her school as well as from the internet. However, be very cautious when applying online due to the number of scams involved.
- Consider taking students loan
If you have tried all the above ideas and still don’t have enough money for the college, tell your child to apply for student loans. It may take time to clear it and the interest but the outcome is worth it. A graduate student will never be comparable to non-graduate and especially in the employment field. Graduates are considered to be professionals, and therefore their salaries are also huge.
Other ways to raise college money include;
- Earn through your talent; as a student, you may have an ability such as acting, singing or hair making. Make sure you use those talents even when you’re in school to be able to make extra money.
- Hobbies and interest; if you can bake, or love baking, go ahead and do it as a business.
- Sacrifice; for you to achieve your dreams, you must put a lot of effort, and with effort, sacrifice is a must. So, skip that vacation, to save the money for your education or your child’s education, and you’ll never regret it.
You may not have been able to save for your student’s college fee on time, but the important thing is, you are interested in getting him/her to college. So the fact that you’re willing to educate your child further will open different ways to afford his/her school fees. Remember to put some money aside as you start saving, for emergency purposes. Continue paying for any insurances you have, and for retirement benefits as well.
Ensure you discuss your child’s course in details, and whether he/she is okay to pursue it. The last thing you want is to hustle for the college fees only to realize your child is not interested! Keep on encouraging them to work extra hard even in their current schools to be successful in future. Remind them that their performance in their current school will determine their future and that includes the college they’ll join.
With the above strategies, you can rest assured your child will finish his/her degree. However, don’t procrastinate until the last minute to save for your other children if you have, start as soon as now to apply for their education policy.