- Start saving saving for college now
- Look at several colleges
- Guide your child towards what will make the biggest financial impact
- Start the application process with a purpose
- Know the process
- Talk with an experienced financial advisor
A normal part of our financial planning and wealth consulting practice is to guide our clients through successful college planning and the admissions process. Preparing for a child’s college education can often be families biggest expense. The foundation of successful college planning is to start saving as early as possible. As in any goal, the earlier you start preparing, the better. In fact, it is never to soon to start planning for a child’s college education.
Even if your child has a specific college chosen, it’s advisable to visit many other colleges as you begin the process. By talking with the admission counselors of other colleges, your child will be better prepared to meet with the counselor from their college of choice.
The number one factor that will impact your child’s acceptance and financial burden will be their grades. However, that is not the only thing colleges are looking for in potential students. Successful college planning involves knowing that colleges are looking for well rounded students because that means well rounded alumni. Well rounded alumni usually mean they will come back often to the campus and support the college financially.
To a school of higher learning, a “well rounded student” means they are involved in their community and in other areas in their school besides sports. This could be anything from student government, non profit work, and the Boy’s or Girl Scouts.
A student should start the application process no later the summer after their sophomore year in high school. This will allow the student to start building a relationship with the admissions counselors.
This process is also the responsibility of the student. The parents do not need to drive this process. This is a valuable learning time for the student and a admissions counselor will be more impressed interacting with the student.
We have guided many families through successful college planning. We know the specific questions to ask you and your child to help your family have confidence you are doing all you can to lessen the anxiety of college planning.
So what are you anxieties and questions about successful college planning? Please send me a comment below. I will respond directly to you. I would be delighted to talk with you more about your child’s dreams and goals and how we can help you guide them.
Executive Vice President
Quint Cook is Executive Vice President and Wealth Consultant at fi-Plan Partners, an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. Quint has more that 20 years in the financial industry. fi-Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.