When I am presenting workshops several times a month, there are several commonly asked questions parents tend to have. What I like to do from time to time is have a Q & A at my workshops regarding the most pressing concerns. Over the past few months (October-November) I have met with many families with children in middle school. The most common question that parents ask is this:
“When is the best time to start the college planning process?”
I have seen a common trend of parents starting this process earlier and earlier; so what is the best answer to this question and why is it so important?
The answer is simple: START. RIGHT NOW.
Here are 5 main benefits of why you should start the college planning process in 8th grade:
- Increase college acceptance rate
- Increase 9th – 11th grade GPA & SAT/ACT scores
- Increase scholarship & grant potential
- Better career placement opportunities
- MORE time, LESS stress!
There are two main parts to the college planning puzzle – finding the best fit college & funding it.
Is it wise to wait until you’re 50 to start your retirement savings? What about waiting until you already have a bachelors or master’s degree to start looking for your dream job?
The three biggest financial burdens that most families I meet with have are paying off their house, staying debt free, and funding college for their children. This makes the answer pretty simple. Start the college planning process now, financially and academically. If you are typically one to hold things off until last minute, then take my advice and start your process towards the middle to end of your student’s 8th grade year.
Is it too late? What if your student is a junior or senior in high school, are you too late? No. Moving forward you might have less options/opportunities, but you are not too late. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me, comment below, or visit us on Facebook and send us a message!