23 Mar Smart About Money: Having the “College Cost” Conversation
By 2030, the average four-year degree will cost $205,000 according to the US Department of Education. Have you started talking to your kids yet about the cost of college? It’s a conversation you should be having with them from the day they start school. Initially you don’t need to focus on the price tag, but start talking about WHEN they go to college, not IF. This gets them in the mindset that they are going and starts the conversation about college. Later, when they reach the freshman year of high school, you can start talking tuition. They’ll be hearing about the college applications the seniors are submitting and the SATs the juniors are taking, so college will be on their radar. It’s the perfect time to have multiple conversations about paying for their college education.
Your children need to know not only what it takes to get into college, from SAT scores to extra-curricular activities, they also need to know how much their education costs. That way they can appreciate what they’re getting and make the most of it. Understanding all the factors that go into being accepted into a particular college (the cost and what they want to study) is the first biggest decision they will make in their life.
That doesn’t mean all 17-year-olds need to look at technical school or decide in high school exactly what they’re going to be when they grow up. There is always room for shifting gears. But this is their first opportunity to make a huge decision that will impact them lifelong. When the price tag is high, it’s worthwhile to help your children focus when it comes to what to study. Starting the conversation early will help guide them into making the best educational decision for them.
How to Save for Your Child’s College Education
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