How to help your teen plan for college

Talking about who is paying and how
Updated: Sep. 3, 2020 at 5:03 PM EDT
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(WWBT) - Armed with work permits, many of today’s high school students have part-time jobs. And if they have income coming in, it’s the perfect time to talk to them about saving for college.

Whether you are paying for your child’s college or you are expecting them to get scholarships and grants - it’s important to start those conversations early.

Maybe money is tight and you won’t be able to contribute that much. Your child needs to know your expectations and also just how expensive college can be.

Cherry Dale with the Virginia Credit Union says if student loans are necessary, then have your child go through the process so they understand just how much is being borrowed and how much will eventually have to be paid back.

“There could be a huge gap after the student loans that they still have to pay on that tuition and room and board, etc.,” said Dale. “So, having a clear expectation at the beginning is really important and perhaps community college might be the best option for students when they can take a few classes at a time.”

Even if tuition is covered, there are still additional costs such as textbooks, meal plans and parking. Cherry says having these conversations while your child is a sophomore or junior in high school may set them up for success when they get ready to graduate.

You can also start to look up the various apps available to help you find scholarships and grants for your child. Scholly and are both good resources.

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