Perhaps the last thing a student wants to think about while attending college is financial planning; yet, it is an important time to lay the foundations for your financial well being.  The lengthy topic of how to pay for college is covered in "Planning for Children's Education" but, a few thoughts are presented here.

Ideally, a family has saved to assist their children with college expenses but that is not always, or perhaps not usually, the case.  When savings are not sufficient and the student cannot earn enough to pay his or her way, it may be necessary to take out student loans.  I am a firm believer that debt incurred for student loans must be the responsibility of the student and not the parents.  The family should be saving for retirement and contingencies and cannot undertake years of student loans at this time in their life cycle.

Students should understand the education loan burden they may have when they graduate (often more than the cost of their first home) and plan their education expenses to keep loans as low as possible.

Students should work to manage the following:

  • Manage the accumulation of college debt
  • Maximize use of grants and subsidized loans
  • Avoid falling into credit card trap
  • Learn to budget and manage debt
  •  Consider two years of community college living at home
  • Credit cards and college students don't mix

    Paying for college



    Life Cycle Financial Planning