Preparing your student for financial success includes finding teachable moments while discussing an overall strategy to pay for college. Take advantage of this bonding opportunity over holiday break to open the conversation.
- Schedule time as a family to discuss college costs each semester. Look at all the expenses for college, not just the obvious: tuition, books, housing and meals, travel, entertainment, and personal needs.
- Students who work 10 to 15 hours per week are shown to have higher average GPA and increased engagement with the university community. Use Handshake to find on-campus jobs.
- Always apply for federal financial aid (loans and grants) through the FASFA (Free Application for Financial Aid). The university also uses FASFA to award need based scholarships.
- Continue the money talk with your student and show them how to create a spending plan, estimate costs, and use credit wisely.
This is the teachable moment, so resist the urge to “fix” things if they go wrong. Allow your student to learn from their mistakes when the stakes are lower and consequences less severe. Learning money skills and developing a healthy money mindset now will create financially literate decision-makers.
The financial wellness program is a fantastic resource that provides detailed information to help you and your student keep the conversation moving toward financial success.