We often have long and difficult conversations with our children about a variety of topics. These topics range from staying safe while out shopping, dating, kindness to one another, values, taking care of chores, etc. But one massive topic many of us are loath to discuss happens to be financial. I don’t know about other families, but my parents never discussed finances with me, and as parents, we didn’t go down the path of discussing finances with our children. We might say university costs are taken care of. Jeff Levy, a colleague of mine (firstname.lastname@example.org) is nothing short of brilliant when it comes to Financial Aid advice. When I went through his tips from the site Grown and Flown, I realized the errors we went through with both of our children. I won’t go into them. But, I can say this firmly: Have the conversation about finances early on. While it is recommended to start the conversation early in high school, maybe finances need to be part of the family conversation early on. What are the ethos in your family regarding money and savings? It doesn’t necessarily have to be formal at that time, but enough to plant the seed. Given the price of tuition, we can all be reminded that university isn’t like what it was when we went to university, nor is it like when my children went to university (and even as far back as 15 years ago). Remember, university will be one of the biggest investments you will make for your child.
Here are some major highlights Jeff points out, I encourage you to read the entire article:
- Saying to your student: “If you get into_________, we will make it work!”
- Not calling the financial aid office when you have a question
- Deciding not to apply for financial aid as a freshman and planning to ask for it later.
Read with care and refer to Jeff’s article and while I want your business for college placement, you should feel comfortable speaking with Jeff regarding FAFSA questions.