From the moment you become a parent, your life changes dramatically. Instead of just having to navigate your own way in the world or make decisions as a couple you instantly have the added responsibility of raising a child too.
Carefree thoughts about life are replaced by concerns about your baby’s well-being and wondering how you can safely shepherd them through life. It’s like you are looking at the world through a new lens, in a way.
For years and years, you help guide your child and then all of a sudden time seems to speed up. The elementary school years took forever, it seems, but high school goes by in an ever-increasing blur. Then senior year arrives and suddenly it’s time for college visits, standardized tests and all of those admission forms.
There are a lot of important decisions to make before your offspring leaves the nest and heads out into their new world.
How to Pay for the High Cost of a College Education
When your child applies for admission to a university program, they will also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Based on the data submitted the college then prepares a financial aid offer that will be included with any acceptance letter that your child receives.
The school will also provide specific information about the cost of all tuition, room and board and fees for the year. Many students receive scholarships, work study or grant money to help pay down the high cost of their degree program. They will also be notified of federal loan programs for which they are eligible.
The remaining balance needs to be paid out of pocket or financed. One of the best ways to do this is to have your child apply for a student loan from a private lender. To help assure that the loan is approved and receive the funds needed to pay for school, you can offer to be a cosigner on the note. Private student loans are usually available from banks, credit unions and financial companies.
Attending College Close to Home
A lot of times a high school student wants to be able to get away from where they were raised and head off to a school that is far from home.
Perhaps they live in the West and have been dreaming of an Ivy League education. Sometimes a potential scholar from Minnesota will select a Florida school where they can enroll in a four-year program and enjoy the beach and warmth too.
With the arrival of the pandemic, many students and their parents have been re-evaluating their college plans. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like a great idea to travel across the country in these uncertain times.
The health implications of having to fly somewhere or spend lots of hours traveling have resulted in many young adults choosing a university that is much closer to home. This allows them to be away from the nest and yet be able to come home easily if that’s necessary.
Choosing Between Dorm or Off-Campus Living
Traditionally, new students have been encouraged or expected to live on-campus during their initial university year. This helped them acclimate to being away from home and also built a sense of instant community as they bonded with their fellow dorm and roommates.
Unfortunately, many dorms are pretty crowded and the shared living spaces and close quarters are not a good idea with the virus.
At this time, living in off-campus student apartments would be a better idea. In these units each student has a private bedroom where they can study, sleep and hang out. They will also have a private bathroom, which is far healthier than sharing crowded communal bathrooms in the dorms.
Since each apartment also has its own kitchen, they’ll be exposed to fewer people than they would have been in an on-campus cafeteria-like setting.