86% of incoming college students take out student loans. Scary? Try this: the total of all college loans is $1 Trillion dollars…that’s right TRILLION; which is more than all of the credit card debt combined.
Most parents not in the know will steal from retirement to pay tuitions. Those ‘in the know’ understand that 95% of all “free money” comes from the schools themselves. Not scholarships, not loans but endowments from the actual college or university.
Here are 5 Tips most parents will never hear at their child’s College Planning Night:
Tip 1: Volunteer and do community service– schools are more apt to give money to the students that will likely donate back upon graduation. Good deeds ultimately do pay one back.
Tip 2: Apply to 10 or more schools and the competitors of the schools where your students want to go- the competition will drive up the scholarship awards as they see where you apply. If you only apply to one why should they increase their financial endowment when they’re the only game in town?
Tip 3: Don’t accept their initial offer-awards can always be negotiated higher, there are $Billions sitting in college endowment coffers. They won’t be offended and ultimately you and your student will benefit.
Tip 4: Hire a professional– we see parents spending thousands for tutors and SAT prep for students to get into top schools they can’t afford to send them to. While prepping for the SAT is important don’t overlook the importance of professional advise on what will be your largest investment second to the purchase of your home.
Tip 5: Apply to your student’s dream schools not just those you can afford. The answer is always ‘no’ unless you ask. Also some of the more desirable schools may have larger endowment funds possibly giving your student a larger award making them more affordable.