When it comes to making decisions about financing a college education, encourage your student to invest in their education. Even if you can afford to cover all the costs, students who contribute monetarily tend to take their education more seriously than those who don’t. It just makes sense that they be invested personally. Discuss money with them early in the college search process. By doing this, there will be no surprises when the financial aid award letters arrive.
There are several ways students can contribute: work study programs, summer job savings, and although not the preferred method, low interest student loans. Even if your student doesn’t qualify for work study, encourage them to find a part-time job while they are in college. This will not only ease your financial burden, but students who have some skin in the game will think twice about slacking off, partying all the time, and skipping class.
An added bonus: studies show that students who work during college do better academically because it forces them to organize their time between studies and work. It’s a win/win for both parties!