As high school seniors begin receiving college acceptance letters from schools they have applied to, parents are forced to face the reality of how they will pay for college.
If for some reason you have not filled out the FAFSA online, do so immediately. It is the only way to receive financial aid if you are eligible. If your child has applied to any private colleges, check to see if they require the CSS form also. Make sure you answer all of the questions accurately so there is no delay in processing the information.
Hopefully, you have had the "college financial talk" with your child and discussed how together you will pay for college. There should also be an understanding that the first choice school may or may not work out; it could come down to the financial aid package that you receive. It is always smart to insist there are a few financial safety schools on your child's college list.
Students also need to consider ways in which they can contribute to their college education. A summer job or part-time work on a college campus provides money for miscellaneous college expenses. Applying for scholarships can also be worth the effort even though they might not always provide a lot of money. There is still time to apply.
When you and your college-bound child consider the financial aid packages from each school, you should look seriously at the ones with the fewest loans. This will help to leave your college graduate with the least amount of debt upon graduation.
Paying for college can be overwhelming; believe me, I know. I have five children. College is expensive and there is no denying it, but it is still a very wise investment.