Whether your child is currently in middle school or in high school, you’ve probably had it happen to you: the sudden bolt of electric fear that you might be late to college planning.
Today, I’m going to rush in with the calvary and rescue you from all that.
If you prefer to see me delivering this information on video, I provide fast-paced, 10-minute video training based on your kid’s age here.
What can you do right now, if you feel like you’re late to college planning?
1. Don’t worry right now that you haven’t saved enough money to pay for college.
Fear and worry can be paralyzing. Some parents feel so fearful about not having planned earlier that they repeatedly put college planning on the back burner.
Don’t be that parent.
Let go of fear and worry over what you haven’t done, and look closely at which clever, creative, easy-to-use strategies you can use right now.
Today, I’m going to give you highly effective debt-free college planning help that will save you both time and money.
2. Don’t jump to the conclusion that a state university will be the bargain answer to all your problems.
Sure, the sticker price looks low at first. There are multiple reasons, though, that the state university is likely not your bargain option. Certain private colleges may actually end up costing your family far less out of pocket. You can read the emphatic article I’ve written on this subject here.
3. Even if you feel you’re very late to college planning, just start where you are right now, and do what you can.
I’ll provide a step-by-step resource that will help you, below.
4. Don’t rely on the internet for college planning advice.
It’ll take you years to sift through everything the internet has to say about college planning. The bits and pieces of info and conflicting messages you hear from online resources will drive you insane. Plus, a huge percentage of what’s currently on the internet regarding college planning is sorely out of date, since President Barack Obama drastically changed US college financing on September 13th, 2015, and most of the world has not yet caught up.
You need a resource that will give you fast, accurate, clear, specific instruction that the internet can’t provide.
I’ll provide that resource for you below.
5. Don’t fret or worry that your child isn’t applying for college scholarships.
Getting private scholarships is only a tiny part of the process of getting kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward.
There are hundreds of other, easier strategies for getting college paid for and getting your kid to a happy, fulfilled career life.
I’ll provide a resource that will help you with this, below.
6. Plan to fill out the FAFSA form on time, every year, even if you’re rich.
Filling out the FAFSA form puts your child in line for nine separate federal student aid programs, over 600 state aid programs, and most of the college-based (institutional) aid available in the United States. Don’t jump to the conclusion that you “probably make too much to qualify for any help.” You don’t know that.
Read my entire article on why you should fill out the FAFSA even if you’re rich, and then plan to submit a FAFSA form every October 1st that there’s even a chance you’ll have a child in college the following fall.
7. Grab onto this resource, and use it for all your college planning starting right now.
If you can’t afford it, ask for it at your local library.
See the fast-paced, 10-minute video training on how to use this book based on your kid’s age here.
You’ll notice that the chapters of this book have titles like, “What to Do in May of 8th Grade,” and “What to Do in September of 11th Grade,” but don’t worry about that.
There are many strategies you can use even if your child is in 12th grade right now.
If you’re feeling late to college planning, get the book here and read chapters 1 and 2 only. After just this short bit of reading, you will feel on fire and inspired, and you will know exactly what to do next to get your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward.
Want to know how parents like you feel about this book? See more than 100 Amazon reviews of it here.
8. Then, take this important next step.
After you’ve read chapters 1 and 2, skim through the rest of the book with a pen and a notebook in hand. Jot down any strategy suggested that you know you can use starting right now. When the book suggests strategies you can’t use, don’t worry about them. Just discard those strategies and look for things you know you can do.
Create your list of strategies—and then start progressing, little by little, through the ones you know you can easily do.
Remember, most parents only use a fraction of the ideas in this book, and they still get their kids through college debt-free and into great jobs after college.
If you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help me by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.
I’m Jeannie Burlowski, and I’m the author of the book recommended above:
You can see why financial advising professionals and admissions consultants love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
The optimal strategy is to read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school. Do this and you’ll find out every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. Space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.
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What about you?
What strategies have you found for doing fast, highly effective debt-free college planning—even if you think you’re currently late to the game? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.