This issue arises from students not thinking deeply about future career options and exploring those options ahead of time. When the student visits the college counselor to discuss options, the counselor does not have your family’s financial situation in mind. The counselor will encourage the student to change majors or minors as frequently as they would like, as long as the family is paying and the checks keep clearing. Due to this, the amount of time it takes the graduate has drastically increased.
This can add on (on average) an additional $30,000-$100,000 to your total bill. If you leave your student’s course work and advising up to the college career counselors, chances are high that your student will take 5-6 years to graduate. By properly preparing your student before college, you can avoid this detour. Keeping your student on track to graduate in 4-years with proper planning will save you, and your student, money by not paying for those additional years.
When families do not financially prepare for college, sophomore year is usually when the parents (or the student) become too broke to make further payments. The student then drops out with a pile of debt and no diploma to show for it. This can be avoided with proper college planning.
This is very important for you to understand, especially if your plan to pay for college is for your student to apply to as many third-party scholarships as possible. Applying for these scholarships is great, and highly recommended, but it should not be the foundation of your plan. Third-party scholarships are the icing on the cake. They are not the whole cake.
There are many intentional traps that have been set up for you by the colleges throughout this process. Some of these traps/mistakes include: sending in a nonrefundable check upon acceptance, not filling out the FAFSA, allowing the college career counselors to advise your student on major/minor changes, not appealing for more aid before your student commits to a college, and many more. Knowledge is power. Having a plan to remedy these traps can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
We have created, used, and adapted this curriculum over the past 20 years. It is a tested and results-based process. While in the past it has been used by full-service advisors, meeting with and guiding students throughout high school, it has now been transformed into a more accessible and user-friendly program that can be used directly by the family at a more affordable cost. We show you the roadmap and give you everything you need to avoid the traps set out by the colleges and protect your family financially.