If you’re concerned that you’re currently LATE to college planning, read this article now.
College planning can feel like being lost in a jungle. And sadly, your kid’s high school guidance counselor (nowadays more properly called a “school counselor,”) can’t help much with hacking through the underbrush. Oh, he or she would love to, but budget cuts have slashed the amount of time counselors get to spend with college bound students, in some cases down to just eight minutes per year.
And your child, smart as he is, isn’t in any position to handle the complexity of college planning either. The stakes are high, both financially and career wise, and his brain won’t be fully developed until age 24.
And the internet? You sure don’t want to depend on the internet for college planning advice.
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 Plus, a huge percentage of what’s currently on the internet regarding college planning is sorely out of date, since President Barack Obama drastically changed US college financing on September 13th, 2015, and most of the world has not yet caught up.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, specific instructions that the internet can’t provide. (I’ll provide a resource for you, below.)
7 things to do when you feel lost in the jungle of college planning
1. Don’t put off college planning because you feel overwhelmed.
I understand that you feel overwhelmed by the college planning process. Every parent does. But if you wait until your kid’s sophomore or junior year of high school to get started on college planning, 75% of the strategies you could have used to get your kid through college debt-free will be gone. Starting early is the best strategy, even if you can’t save a penny.
(If you’re worried that you’re currently late to college planning, read this article now.)
2. Start where you are.
Even if your child’s currently a senior in high school, it’s not too late to get to work on solid, strategic college planning. My writing will help you.
3. Sit down with one (and only one) full and complete list of all the tasks necessary for college planning.
(I’ll provide you a resource for this below.)
4. Select just one first step, and complete it.
You’ll feel great about your progress, and you’ll feel momentum to keep going, straight to the finish line.
5. Make a regular recurring appointment in your calendar to sit down and work strategically on college planning.
If your child’s in middle school, the appointment you’ll make with yourself will be approximately every three months. If your child is a senior in high school, your appointment may be every week. Remember, the time you’re putting in on this will pay off not just for decades, but for generations.
Strategic work on college planning is absolutely worth your time.
6. Check off the tasks you’ve completed, and congratulate yourself on your progress.
Other parents have started at exactly your same point with college planning, and have had great success. You can do it too.
7. Use this book as your fully-featured, step-by-step guide for college planning:
Just read chapters 1 and 2 only to start, and you will feel on fire and inspired about debt-free college planning—and you’ll know exactly what to do next.
If you feel late to college planning, read this article before you get started.
LAUNCH is a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use it most efficiently here.
You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
The best plan 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 know 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.
Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.
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Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?
If you’re a middle school or high school counselor, feel free to email this article out to all the families you work with.
They’ll be thankful for your care, and for your taking the time to point them to this help.
Just copy the red and blue text below and paste it into an email to families:
At this time of year, many families find themselves wanting step-by-step help with the college planning process. Our career center and guidance counseling office are restricted on how much time we can spend with each student and family—but we can suggest resources for you.
Here’s an article that’ll help you feel strength and hope around your family’s college planning. It will also direct you to an inexpensive resource that can guide you step-by-step.
We are all expecting great things out of our kids, and the college planning you’re doing as parents is a big part of making that happen. Thank you for all you’re doing!
Who do you know that’s a school counselor or a principal?
Copy the link to this article and forward it to him or her right now.
If you’ve found reassuring info in this article, please tweet it out to the people who follow you.
Did you find this article through a Facebook post?
Please click the SHARE button on that Facebook post right now. You’ll be helping me get this info out to lower-income families who might never otherwise find out about it.
What about you?
What strategies have you found for successfully doing all your kids’ college planning—mostly by yourself? 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, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.