It’s that time of year! We have all said it, “the summer went so fast!” And guess what? We will say it again next year. I have seen all the precious posts of kids going back to school, including those of the “big” kids heading back to college. I have a few nieces in college, and I know it can be an intense time for parents. I am also not too old to remember the days of getting funding ready to pay for all my classes. I remember filling out the FASFA forms….ON PAPER! You know, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid?
First off, let me say that it is incredibly important that your kids are a part of the process for paying for college. I will say it again; it is INCREDIBLY important!! This the most significant purchase your kids are likely to have made thus far, and they need to know that it doesn’t happen with MAGIC. They have to take this investment seriously and no better way than by actions rather than words. Please make your kids be a part of the process. Help teach them about loans if they should need them, or about how to banking works when you need to write a check for the money or transfer funds. I am just saying teach them how the system works; if you do it for them, they will never learn.
My first recommendation is to make them fill out the FAFSA forms. I don’t care if you think you don’t qualify for any aid, you all need to fill it out together. Many people who believe they don’t qualify leave valuable dollars on the table each year that they could have received from the college institution, federal, or state government.
You see new awards are being given by different levels of government each year that you don’t even know about. Just last week, there was an announcement for 360 million dollars in new assistance to be given to 20 states to help educate students displaced by hurricanes and wildfires. Filling out the form can make you eligible to all types of unknown funding. BTW, there is another wave of funds to be distributed in the coming weeks as stated on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Get your kids involved in their financial support and make them go through the steps with you to pay for college. Fill out the FAFSA forms online. I also understand these forms retain information so that you can fill them out quickly each year. Remember you are lucky you don’t have to wait in line around the building to fill out your forms on paper! Knowledge is key, educate your children about money.
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