We all know that gone are the days when you can graduate with a high school diploma and get a good-paying job. If you don’t further your education after high school, your opportunities are very limited when it comes to career advancement.
Then again, that doesn’t mean you should go to university and resign yourself to a post-grad life with $50,000 in student loans hanging over your head.
To set yourself up for a successful career, you need to get a higher education, either at a technical college or university, and you need to be smart with your money at the same time. That’s what college funding consultant Brad Baldridge shares as my guest on this podcast episode. He has a wealth of knowledge about helping parents and their kids figure out a plan to afford post-secondary education.
Brad shares a number of great tips in this episode, but to summarize just a few of them, here are the 5 most important things you can do to avoid getting into heaps of student debt and save money on tuition:
- If you can, start saving for post-secondary education as soon as possible. If you’re a parent, start putting money away when your kids are still kids. If you’re a student and plan on putting yourself through school, get a part-time job as soon as you can work and be very diligent with saving every dollar you can (it worked for me!).
- Don’t assume you aren’t eligible for financial aid. It really does depend on a number of circumstances, so don’t assume but find out for sure if you are or aren’t eligible.
- Give yourself a year to apply for scholarships, and be strategic. Don’t just apply to every scholarship under the sun. Pick the ones that suit you the best and put your effort into a really stellar application. You may be surprised by the result!
- You may not think you can afford a “name brand” or ivy league school, but you might be wrong. A lot of these schools offer substantial financial aid and you might be able to get a huge discount on tuition.
- Tax time is a great time because that’s when you can take advantage of a number of tax credits and get some of your money back. Not only are there tax credits for tuition, but student loan interest is also tax deductible.
Helpful Resources & Books
My Favourite Taming the High Cost of College Podcast Episodes
- 3 Ways to Make the Most of Your College Visit with Kathryn Clowes
- How to Get Started in College Planning. Key Areas to Focus on First