3 Things to Consider When Sending Your Child to College

There are so many amazing milestones in life when your son or daughter reaches the age of 18. The second half of their senior year in high school is filled with events and proms, treasured time with their friends and graduation ceremonies. It's also a time when they apply to colleges and begin the first steps of their journey into adulthood and prepare to leave the nest. With each new essay and application, your child starts to create his or her new path in life. Anxious days of waiting to hear back from their top choice universities yield to moments of elation when the acceptance letters finally arrive. The dream of heading off to college become so very real and now there are concrete plans that need to be made.

Finance Education with Student Loans

As part of the application process, each prospective student also prepares and submits a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To complete the form, you will need information from your tax return and also from bank statements and the like that show financial assets. This information is then used by the universities when they prepare their financial aid award letters for those accepted to the school. Typically, a college may offer a mix of scholarship, grants and work study to help lower your educational costs. You may also qualify for some federal loans, but parents and their children are increasingly turning to private student loans to help pay for the high costs of undergraduate education. Private student loans can provide the funds you need so you can attend a top notch school and put your life on the right track.

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On Campus vs. Off Campus Housing

One of the big decisions you have to make when heading off to university is where you will live while you attend school. Typically, you can choose between residing in the dorms and buying a room and board package that includes a meal plan or living in off-campus student housing. Living in the dorm was often a default choice for freshmen. Now, with all the changes in the world due to the pandemic, it seems that living off-campus is a far better choice. Instead of living in a tightly packed dorm with communal restrooms and lots of close contact with lots of other students, it may make more sense to live in an apartment with just one or two roommates. In your off-campus dwelling you have your own private bedroom, a private bathroom for each student and when you go to class you simply exit through your private apartment front door.

Student Health and Safety During These Times

As a parent you are always concerned with keeping your child safe and protected in life. Those considerations are even more important now as we navigate the new conditions across the world. You will want to carefully monitor communications from the college and see what steps they are taking to keep their students safe. Some schools are moving to a hybrid education model, where some classes will be offered online and others will be offered in person. Class size will have to be minimized to assure that everyone in the classroom or lecture hall can adhere to social distancing guidelines. You'll also want to make sure that the university has masks and hand-washing stations available for everyone.

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