In the midst of the Pandemic of 2020, millions of students are planning to head back to their college or university. Yet, the families of those very same students may have suffered unexpected (of course, unexpected) financial setbacks.
Financial setbacks now, as in the past, force a reconsideration, whether it be returning to school at all, moving to a less expensive school, taking a gap year, or deferring enrollment. If your family is in the midst of a reconsideration, the financial experts offer the following tired, conventional means of finding more money – as if you hadn’t already considered them…
1. Appeal your FAFSA submission. A typical family may not have considered this option. Undoubtedly, in the advice offered over the past few months, it’s typically the first option suggested. However, if you were one of our college planning clients, your family would long have been aware of this option and it already would be part of our funding strategy.
2. Ask your institution for a tuition reduction. Due to the Pandemic and their resultant fear of reduced enrollment (and, thus, reduced revenue), many schools already offer tuition reduction. A request for further reduction likely will fall on deaf ears. While you “never know until you ask,” don’t expect a positive outcome.
3. Apply for late-deadline scholarships. Sure, why not? You’ll be one of thousands upon thousands applying for scholarships where there may be only one winner. How is this different than when you were running your pre-enrollment college planning campaign? Our clients know that these scholarships represent just over 3% of all available financial aid and that, while they should apply for a few for which they are imminently qualified, their focus should be elsewhere.
4. Consider community colleges. While this option makes sense if you will be one of the students staying home, it only makes sense if the institution in which you currently are enrolled or that you currently plan on attending will accept the credits earned at the community college. Otherwise, it may not be the best strategy for you or your family.
5. Apply for a credit card to meet your needs. Sure, this may help. But, will it be yet another way to incur burdensome debt. If such is your choice, be sure you have the proper plan to pay it off (as our clients do) . Otherwise, it may be a “noose” around your neck for a long, long, long time.
6. Find a part-time job or side hustle. What great advice! Wouldn’t this already be part of your plan as a typical college student if you needed the cash?
7. Check for tax deductions. Seriously? Wouldn’t your accountant or tax preparation software already be doing this? And, in reality, while this might provide a slight cash infusion, it generally won’t rise to the level of cash infusion you’ll likely need.
8. Apply for a student loan. Well, duh… Even the schools on their financial aid award letter will tell you the same thing. They’ll offer the student loans for which your family qualifies, then recommend parent loans for the difference in cost not covered by the award package.
If you’re interested in discovering the proper method of saving for a college education (nope, not a 529 plan), if you’re interested in a proven, unconventional means of saving for that expense, contact The Money Architects at Vivensure® to schedule your no-obligation evaluation.
We look forward to hearing from you!