This post brought to you by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. All opinions are 100% mine.
Well, we have about 10 weeks left and my oldest will be a High School graduate and will start his College life. I honestly did not prepare and still am not prepared for this next step in his life. I’m kind of freaking out a bit. Being from a different country, the schooling in the US is a learning process for me as well as my Teen. I learn through him and totally have to follow his lead in every step and hope we go into the right direction. So far so good. I totally believe that we did not prepare as much as we could have for college, but non the less he will be starting College in the Fall, ready or not.
Since I have two more that will follow into my oldest son’s footstep down the road, I decided to do a little research and share a few simple tips with you on how to get prepared for college (as much as you can ever be prepared.).
Get ready for College….
1. Start a College Plan or savings account as early as possible. I know in Florida we have a few savings options and the earlier you start the cheaper it will be for you in the long run. You will be able to lock in rates now for when your little one will head to college 5, 10 or even 18 years from now. I wish I would have known more about that back in the day and actually would have listened to people who mentioned it. Trust me… 18 years will go by in the blink of an eye! Don’t ever say.. it’s a long time out.. because I did and now we have 10 weeks and we will be graduating high school… WHAAAAA!
2. Start comparing out of state and in state tuition plans. I know a lot of teens can’t wait to grab their bags and pack the car and head out of State, as far away as possible from Mom and Dad. Have you ever looked at out of State tuition? Get your plans and colleges set way before your little one graduates High School, start a plan and see what direction your teen may lean to and see how beneficial it will be for both you and your Teen and of course your Wallet.
3. Look for Scholarships. There are many scholarships out there you just have to look and apply. Some are as easy as saying “Hello.. I’m here” others need a bit more work, but in the end it is all worth it. Many online websites are available for scholarships nowadays and even in places you would have never thought to look, like you bank for example, I had no idea that a Bank would offer a scholarship.
4. Don’t be afraid to look at community Colleges for the first 2 years and then move up to a University if your teen has the desire for a 4 year degree. There really is nothing wrong with that. The first two years they learn all the basic classes that they have to take no matter where they go anyways, so get those done through your Community College, save some money and then move on up.
5. Be there for your Teen! I know this is a stressful time for both, parents and kids looking for college options and making that transition from High School to a College Student, but be there for your teen, they are the ones going through all this, support them and gently guide them in the right direction, support their degree decision and help them achieve their goals. Again, trust me.. in the blink of an eye the 4 years are up and then your Teen is on his own.
These are just a few of my very own tips that I’ve heard and try to turn into reality one step at a time with my teen and the kids following in his foot steps down the road. In no way am I telling you you HAVE to do this or that or that I’m 100% right. I’m just a Mom and learn step by step one thing may work great for me, may not work for others or wise versa. So give it a try… and hopefully you will be able to make that transition from High School to College a little easier. Of course, I would LOVE to hear any of your College tips as well.
BMO Harris Bank knows that these life events can sometimes be shocking, unplanned and unforgettable. With the new five-week long BMO Harris Bank Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes they take us through an interactive game experience geared around such life events. This week we are on week 4 and you will get lots of tips and idea revolving around your College Student (or soon to be) and your finances, to get you through a smooth transition for you and your family.
Be sure to enter for your chance to win the
BMO Harris Bank Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes!! Don’t forget to follow BMO Harris on Facebook to keep up with all the savings tips and ideas they share. Each week opens a new environment that focuses on a life stage moment, where you can discover relevant financial information and collect tokens for a chance to win anywhere from $500-$2,000.
What tips can you give about College and being prepared? Would love to hear it.