College Cost Saving

Here’s a college cost saving tip: See your advisor.

College cost is a top concern of parents and college-bound students. When you’re planning and budgeting, most people base their expectations on graduating in four years. The fact that many — actually, most — students don’t graduate “on time” may surprise you.

Many times, taking longer than four years to graduate is a good thing.

Many times, taking longer than four years to graduate is a good thing. What?! Yes — if it’s due to co-op or internships, and you’re not paying an unintended semester’s worth of tuition.

RELATED: Be realistic about student loan debt

You should check your potential colleges’ outcomes as part of your vetting process. Look for graduation rates, career center data, etc. on their websites to get a handle on how they do by their students in this area. In general, students who do take advantage of co-op or intern opportunities graduate with with actual job experience to their credit, which presumably makes them more appealing to employers.

Paying for an extra semester or year is significant. Obviously, it costs more in tuition. But wait! There’s more!

College tuition is one of the biggest expenses you will incur in your lifetime. Paying for an extra semester or year is significant. Obviously, it costs more in tuition. But wait! There’s more! When you factor in the loss of potential work wages you would have made the first year after graduation, the cost can be breath-taking.

Have a look at the calculator provided by Suzanne Shaffer, Parents Countdown to College Coach (and don’t miss her Parent College Coach tip series here on SCV) to get a look at the true cost of an extra year of college. Be sure you are sitting down and check it out here.

What can you do to prevent this? Research, discuss, plan, check and double-check graduation requirements, meet regularly with your advisor, and above all, be aware.

RELATED: Talk to your teen about financing college

 

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