Being a parent, you may have concerns about how to ensure you can fund your child’s education post-secondary school. The cost of living is constantly rising, and you may face high tuition fees as well as additional expenses if your child has to live away from home.
Here are some steps you can take to save for your child’s education.
Be clear about what you can and cannot afford to pay
Be clear about what you can afford to pay when it comes to your child’s education. Firstly, consider what kind of lifestyle you want for yourself when you retire. How much money will you need to save for your retirement? The type of lifestyle you want will impact how much money will be available, so it’s critical to be realistic.
If you feel it’s reasonable to cover a few years’ tuition but not the total cost, or you can help with on-campus residence, be honest and let your child know they’ll be responsible for some costs too.
Get your kids started on a bank account
Having your children get into the habit of saving early can really benefit them in the future. Consider opening a savings account and putting some money in as a gift or just to help them get started. They will then understand that they need to save money if they want to buy something big like a new computer. If you openly discuss saving for things with your kids, it can make them more responsible with their own money when they have it later on in life.
Use the bank account to track how close they are to paying for their education and celebrate when they achieve milestones, such as saving enough money for a course or a year’s tuition.
Look into grants, scholarships, and bursaries
There are many opportunities out there for your child to earn money that doesn’t need to be paid back. Governments, schools, private companies and individuals often offer funding to students planning to attend post-secondary schooling. These can be awarded based on high grades, study area, volunteer work, needs, or hobbies.
Check out all of the options available to your child and encourage them to apply for any financial aid they’re eligible for.
Choose a school wisely and limit borrowing
You’ll want to choose a school wisely and limit borrowing money. Before you start looking into loans, think carefully about the school your child is considering. Encourage your child to research schools and ask questions like:
- What scholarships are available?
- What’s the cost of attendance?
- Are there similar education programs nearby, or will they have to move away?
- Can they do a couple of years at a less expensive school closer to home and then transfer schools?
- Are their alumni successful in their chosen field(s)?
- How much debt do students typically graduate with?
- Will they be able to repay their loans given their projected income based on what fields they tend to pursue?
These are just some of the variables to consider when deciding on a school.
Final thoughts on funding your child’s education
While you may want to pay for everything your child does in their post-secondary education, remember that every little bit helps. So even if you can’t afford to pay their full tuition, being able to help out with part of the tuition will help set them up for success. It may also be more meaningful to them if they contribute financially to their education. It is imperative that you factor in the cost of future education into your overall budget and remember that you also have your retirement and other expenses to cover as well.
If you have any questions on how to assist in funding your child’s education, feel free to Join the conversation…