There are many factors to consider when applying for college. Not only do you have to find the best fit for you personally, but you also have to incorporate what you can afford. This can be a very expensive and stressful process. However, it’s important to consider the financial aspects of college beyond what’s the best cultural fit.
Things to Consider When Applying to Colleges
Application Fees – Most colleges charge an application fee, which can range from $25 to $100 or more. Be sure to factor in these costs when applying to multiple schools.
Financial Aid – Research the financial aid options available at each school you’re considering. This may include grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and student loans.
Cost of Attendance – Look into the total cost of attendance at each school; tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other expenses. Consider how much financial aid you’re eligible for and how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
Living Expenses – Whether you want to live off campus or on, it’s going to cost money either way. If you’re planning to live off campus, be sure to factor in the cost of rent, utilities, food, and other living expenses. These costs can vary depending on the location of the school.
Transportation – Consider the cost of transportation to and from the school, including flights, gas, and parking fees.
Part-time Work – If you plan to work part-time while attending school, research the availability of job opportunities on or near campus and the potential earnings.
Repay Student Loans – If you plan to take out student loans, it is super important to consider the repayment options and the impact they’ll have on your future finances. It may not be something you want to think about now, but it’s imperative to have an idea of what you’ll be paying once you graduate.
Related Article: Financial Tips for Teenagers
Thinking about your child’s future is probably already hectic, but we can work together on figuring out the right financial steps to be taken. First Financial has specific ways of helping our members prepare for their kids, teens, and college grads. You might also want to talk to a financial advisor in The Investment and Retirement Center, about 529 college savings plan options.*
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*Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker/dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. First Financial Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) and The Investment & Retirement Center are not registered as a broker/dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using The Investment & Retirement Center, and may also be employees of FFFCU. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from and not affiliates of FFFCU or The Investment & Retirement Center.
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