Involve Your Child in the Finance of College
By Saghir Aslam
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the Ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in security and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable activities.)
If you’ve diligently saved over the years to help pay for your child’s education, now is the perfect time to bring him or her into the equation. “When it comes to financing school, students need to be involved in the process.”
By walking through the financial steps of paying for college together, you’ll help your son and daughter understand the overall expenses and learn vale able fiscal skills for the future, especially the importance of goal-based saving.
Following these five steps to get your child involved before mailing in that acceptance notification deposit.
1. Start with a conversation. Before your child even begins applying for college, have a discussion about finances. A good time to have this conversation tends to be during the student’s junior year of high school.
When you sit down together, ask your child about his or her upcoming goals. Talk about expenses for school, as well as who will be covering costs or how they might be split. If you or other family members have contributed to a 529 plan, show it to your child and go through the details of how it can be used.
2. Set a budget. As a family, consider setting certain guidelines and limitations for the college experience. Perhaps you agree to cover the cost of tuition and and room and board, but ask your child to pay for his or her entertainment expenses while on campus.
Having those discussions may prevent future disappointment. If your son gets accepted into his dream school, for instance, but later learns the family won’t be able to pay for it and he doesn’t want take out his own loans, the reality could be difficult to face.
3. Look at financial and packages together. With your child, fill out and submit forms for financial help, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. To identify additional types of financial aid that may be available, visit https://student adid.ed.gov/sa/.
Some universities have a net price calculator on their websites. With this tool, you’ll be able to see what the overall cost for the school is and then subtract any financial aid packages available to identify what your expected expenses will be. Once you start receiving acceptance notifications, go through aid packages with your child to compare and contrast them so that you both have a clear vision of what the bottom line is and how different aid options are treated.
4. Think about work. If you want your child to be responsible for paying for part or all of his or her schooling, a part-time job may be a good fit.
As a family, you’ll want to decide if it make sense for your child to work while he or she is at school, or only during summer and winter breaks. Some kids may have a heavy class load or extracurricular activities. If certain scholarships require your child to attain or keep a certain GPA, you’ll want to weigh the time spent away from academics against the amount of money your student will be earning from a part-time job.
In addition to helping cover college expanses, employment can offer other key benefits you’re child, including the chance to manage an income build a strong work ethic, and grow in self-worth. If working during the school year will put too much of a strain on your child, set savings goals together for his or her summer job.
5. Understand scholarship possibilities. If your child wants to attend a school that doesn’t fit into the budgeted amount you planned to spend, consider sitting down to talk about the situation. It may be time to look at other options or your child may want to increase his or her efforts to identify and apply for scholarships to help over some of the costs.
The site TuitionFundingSources.com of scholarships available. After looking through the options together, help your child setup a schedule to apply for ones that are the best fit, paying close attention to deadlines and other requirements. Some scholarships involve writing an essay, but the awards offered could make the effort worthwhile.
Once you sit down with your child that is the first big step you have taken for his or her success to involve children at young age is the best you can do for them. It will build their confidence. They will know you care. Both of you will be Abel to discuss in details. Inshallah this will translate in to when the child comes to your stage.
He becomes father or she becomes mother they will inshallah do better job with their children. Thus you are doing great.
(Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, nor does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr Aslam does not have anything for sale.)

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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