strategiesAs a parent it isn’t just a responsibility to encourage your child to attend college, but to also prepare them for the harsh reality that is rising tuition costs.  Here are a few things you can do to help prepare your child for the costs of college and reduce the potential for a burdensome student loan debt:

Save Early — it is never too early to start saving for a child’s college education. While we may  not have started when they were first born, any money that you can save towards tuition costs is a dollar that doesn’t need to be borrowed. Have your kids get involved and save the money they earn from odd jobs and wages.

Plan Applications — most kids dream of going to a particular college and graduating with an already chosen degree. While it would sure be nice to claim a  Harvard education, the reality is that where a degree came from rarely has significant implications for a future career. Help your kids compare the cost of different institutions and choose the one that is most affordable.

Choose Careers — not all careers pay the same, and some of the most passion driven ones actually pay considerably less. While you don’t want to discourage your child from pursuing their passion or working in a public service field, you can educate them about the reality of salary expectations. Having a better understanding of their earning potential can help them prepare for their future finances.

Live Frugally– college students are not just graduating with student loan debt, but also considerable amounts of credit card debt. It isn’t uncommon for graduates to leave college with high credit card balances or having over-borrowed their student loans. Teach kids not to borrow more than they need for tuition and books, or to depend on credit cards for essential living expenses.

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