College tuition is one of the most worthy investments a parent can make for their children’s future. Yet, sending just one child to college can cost you an arm, a leg, and sometimes even a second mortgage.
But what happens when mom and dad can’t cut back on their expenses any more than they already have? What happens if they aren’t able – or willing – to qualify for a loan? Or what if a parent feels that their children should pay for their own college education because they believe that it’s a part of becoming an independent adult?
Adjusting Your Teen’s Expectations
It’s important to adjust your teen’s expectations of their college experience. Unlike the college students portrayed in the movies, they’ll be expected to live up to some mature responsibilities.
They’ll need to focus on maintaining their grades while keeping a part time job and learning how to manage their money efficiently – only then should fun and games pop into the equation!
Try these money saving strategies that will help raise money for your child’s tuition without giving a dime to lenders:
- Encourage your child to get a job. Having your child work a part time job while in school and apply most of its proceeds towards tuition is a very effective way to slim down the expenses incurred by mom and dad.
- Yes, your student can maintain a part time job without allowing their grades to slide. The trick is to find a job that pays fairly well and isn’t very demanding. For example, a morning paper route paying between $150 and $200 per week would be a golden opportunity!
- If your teen earns just $9 per hour working a part time schedule of 15 hours per week while in school, their earnings would amount to over $4,860 before taxes over a nine-month school year.
- Most college students have a two-and-a-half month summer break and a one-month winter vacation. If your child works full time for two months of their summer, they can add an extra $2,880 to their yearly earnings. This amounts to a total of $7,740 per year that can be applied toward their college expenses. And they even score a full month of vacation time!
- Ask for donations. Savvy college students are now helping fund their college education by asking for donations online. Websites, such as lilyslist.com and www.sponsormydegree.com are making it much easier for college students to afford their education.
- You may not get the full amount needed to pay for a year of schooling, but every dollar helps. SponsorMyDegree.com allows donations for as little as $5 each. So there’s really no reason for others not to donate.
- Feel free to pass the link of your child’s profile to your friends and extended family, as this is likely where most of your contributions will come from. Ask for donations in lieu of birthday and graduation gifts.
- Have your child apply for scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and other financial aid. Visiting the college’s financial aid office can result in a treasure trove of financial aid for your student!
When combining these frugal tips you can save thousands of dollars on your child’s college education. You both win – your child gets to go to college and learn some responsibility and you don’t need to worry about paying for it all!