Cost : One of Four Pillars To Consider When Building a College List for Your Teen

There's a lot to consider when building your teen's college list. As a company, we help our clients think about the four pillars:

  • Cost
  • Location
  • Possible Major
  • Possible Career

Today we'll talk about cost because it's America, where money matters, and college is expensive.

Click below to watch my video discussing cost when it's time to build your teen's college list.  

So I want to ask you a few questions.

Do you know which colleges you should start researching? 

Do you know how much that college costs?

Do you understand financial aid terms such as "scholarships," "grants," "loans," "merit aid," and "FAFSA forms"?"

Have you visited each college's website and looked at their net price calculator to determine how much income, assets, and liabilities factor into college financial aid?

If you have not, you're in the right place because I want to make it very clear that cost needs to be the primary reason you start researching schools. Unless you have unlimited amounts of money, cost will factor into your child's college search process.

#1: "Loan" is not necessarily a bad word, but we want to try to avoid them as much as possible, especially parent-plus loans. You may want your child to take a loan out, so they understand the college process's importance. However, you want to avoid burdening them with loans after graduation that will hinder them from purchasing a house or getting a small business loan if they want to be entrepreneurs. Please be informed if you plan to take a loan out for your kids or have them take it out for themselves.

#2: Do you understand how the estimated family contribution works? The estimated family contribution (EFC) is an essential factor to consider when considering the cost of college. Every college has a net price calculator on their website that can give you an approximate amount of money you will need to spend on your child's college education. Make sure you have conversations with your child about cost as it pertains to college, and do not leave that to the end of the college search and application process.

#3: Scholarships are available, but I want you to understand that the word "scholarship" can be tricky to understand what the term means. Understanding the differences in merit aid or grants is critical. There are resources to help you get scholarships, but don't think there are companies that throw money at every kid who wants to apply to college.

Several years ago, I had a kid spend their entire summer looking for scholarships in preparation for their college process, which helped them look at the right schools for the right reasons based on cost.

At Strategic Admissions Advice, we have these very upfront conversations with families about cost, and we consider that when building a college list. We don't necessarily find scholarships for you, but we can lead you in the right direction and help you understand the college list-building process concerning cost.

Schedule a complimentary Discovery Call today to learn more about how we can help.