What Your Award Letter Doesn’t Tell You

The daily life of a college student brings along associated costs. Many of these are detailed in the financial aid award letters and packets colleges send out, but still others also add up. Use this list of 14 expenses not normally included in most cost of attendance information to help you budget better.

1. Class- or major-specific materials and fees. Your award package probably provides an average cost for books and materials, but depending on specific classes, you may need to budget more. For example, you may need to purchase specialty art supplies, specific software or even tickets to local performances for certain classes.

2. Social and pre-professional dues and fees. Fraternities, sororities, pre-professional societies, clubs and student organizations often have membership fees, as well as costs associated with special events, trips, conferences and clothing.

3. Printing and photocopy fees. While the world of academics is progressively moving toward electronic communication, students often need to print materials, signs, resumes and portfolios for presentations, interviews and other occasions. Students may have a number of printed pages included in the cost of attendance, but watch especially for limits on color, 3-D and other special printing.

4. Clothing. Besides an initial outlay for clothes appropriate for the weather and fashions at a specific school, students often buy new clothes for theme days or holidays, special events, interviews and jobs. Don’t forget to budget spirit wear for game days.

5. Extra travel. Many college award packets include an average amount for transportation. This may not cover your specific costs for travel to and from a faraway home or travel expenses for study abroad, internships or co-ops, conferences, service trips or even trips over breaks. Students with cars may have parking, insurance and maintenance costs on and off campus, and those without may end up paying for cabs, Uber, trains or buses.

6. Bank and financial fees. If your financial institution doesn’t have a branch on or near campus, you may be responsible for extra fees for using the ATM. Colleges may also charge fees if you choose to use a payment plan or to pay your tuition bill by certain methods.

7. Health and fitness expenses. If a college doesn’t include membership to a campus fitness center in its fees, students may need to budget for that expense. In addition, physical therapy or personal training services may be available only at an extra charge.

8. Health insurance. On a related note, consider whether there are extra fees for using your family health insurance in the college area. Many colleges offer their own insurance plans and automatically enroll students. Check with the college to determine if you are being charged for health insurance and how you can avoid paying for double coverage.

9. Parent travel. If a student doesn’t attend college close to home, parents may find themselves paying to travel to and stay in the college community several times a year, either for visits, special events or college functions like orientation and family day.

10. Renter or dorm insurance. Parents may need to pay for an additional policy or increase current insurance coverage in case of loss or theft of personal items at college. Insurance may cover contents of a dorm room or off-campus housing, bikes and computers, as well as other items.

11. Storage or shipping for breaks. If a student attends college far from home, items that can’t be reasonably carted home will need to be either shipped or stored when the dorm closes for the year or if the student is between leases.

12. Legal fees. Colleges may provide free legal assistance to students, but some cases may require outside counsel. Although student legal situations could involve drugs or alcohol, other situations include car accidents, personal injury, landlord-tenant conflict, theft and more. In addition, students who are over the legal age may want to provide power of attorney or other legal documents to their parents or other parties.

13. Entertainment costs. Sporting events, concerts, movies and other entertainment options can add up for students. In addition, students may need to pay for cable or another TV subscription service, dining outside of a meal plan, snacks, beverages and more.

14. Student loan interest. All student loans begin accruing daily interest from the moment they are disbursed to the school or the student. The federal government will pay interest on subsidized federal loans while the student is in school at least half-time, but all other student loans have that interest added to the total repayment amount. You can choose to pay interest during the school years to offset the accrual; otherwise, include anticipated interest in financial plans for the future.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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What to Do If Your Financial Aid Award Is Inaccurate or Incomplete

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When you receive your financial aid award notification, check it carefully. Here are some circumstances you may run into and what you can do.

Situation What to Do
Your contact information is incorrect. Contact the financial aid office with your updated information. You also need to log in to the FAFSA portal to update your information.
Your tax or other financial information has changed since you submitted your FAFSA. Contact the financial aid office if your financial situation has changed drastically due to loss of a parent’s job or other circumstances. You will need to log in to the FAFSA portal and update anything that has changed due to estimating or amendments made to your tax returns.
You want to be considered independent of your parents for financial aid purposes due to a severed relationship or abusive situation. If you have extenuating circumstances in regard to your relationship with your parents, contact your financial aid office to clarify the situation and determine the dependency appeal process.
You didn’t receive a federal or state award you expected. If you believe you qualify for but didn’t receive a federal or state grant or scholarship, first determine if the award is automatically granted to all eligible applicants.

  • If you didn’t receive an automatic award, contact the agency responsible for administering it and notify your financial aid office.
  • If the award is not automatic, funds may not be available for all applicants. You may try contacting the agency administering the award to see if any remaining funds will be awarded later.
You didn’t receive an institutional award you expected. Not all awards are automatically granted to all eligible students. If you met the college’s priority deadline, contact the financial aid office to determine if any institutional awards are still available. If the award was offered by a specific department, ask a financial aid representative if the office has been made aware of the award.
A state or federal award was submitted to the wrong college. Contact the agency responsible for administering the award. Also notify your financial aid office and the financial aid office at the other institution of the mistake.
You received an award you didn’t expect. Many colleges consider your application for admission to also be your application for other institutional awards. If you feel you didn’t meet the qualifications for an award, contact the financial aid office to clarify.
A grant or scholarship awarded by an outside entity isn’t shown in your award packet. You need to tell your college about all grants and scholarships you receive. If an award is missing, contact the financial aid office.
You received a work-study award. This award may be dependent on you finding a work-study position and earning a paycheck based on hours actually worked. Start with the financial aid section on the college’s website. If that doesn’t contain information about how to locate and apply for work-study positions, contact the financial aid office.
You didn’t receive enough aid to pay for your costs of attendance. If you are significantly short of aid, you may need to consider:

  • Contacting the financial aid office to inform them of your situation and see if you qualify for any additional aid.
  • Working more to earn income to pay for your shortfall.
  • Asking about monthly payment plans.
  • Exploring less expensive education options, such as a public university or community college.
  • Relying on family to help with the cost of your education through gifts or federal PLUS Loans for parents.
  • Taking out private student loans to cover the remaining expenses.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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After the Award: Why Grades Matter for Financial Aid

AftertheAward_GradesMatterforFinAid

You know that awesome feeling you experienced when you realized your grants and scholarships will cover a hefty chunk of your college cost? The relief that now you could focus more on college life instead of solely on your grades?

Not so fast. You should know your grades will likely still matter if you want to keep your aid each year. Here’s why.

1. You may need a minimum GPA to renew certain scholarships and grants.

Many renewable or multiyear scholarships and grants require you to maintain a minimum GPA in college to renew the award. The exact GPA required each semester or term will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The minimum GPA set by the entity that provided the award. Make sure you understand the requirements for each renewable award. Also, check whether there is a probationary period if you fall below the minimum and whether that must occur in your first year or you may use it any time.
  • Whether you need to maintain a certain cumulative GPA or a minimum each term. If you need to keep a minimum cumulative GPA, one semester of poor grades can affect your eligibility for several additional terms.
  • The grading system for your classes. Some colleges award whole grade points only, so an 89% and an 81% course grade are both Bs and are both worth 3.0 points (often called “quality points”) on a 4.0 grading scale. Others award partial points for a letter grade with a + or a -, so an 89% course grade may be a B+ worth 3.33 while an 81% may be a B- worth 2.67 on a 4.0 scale. Still other colleges allow professors to choose which system to use as long as they provide the grading system in the course materials. Know where you need to fall on the scale and whether it’s worth the effort to bring a low B up to a high B in one class versus concentrating on bringing a high B up to a low A in another.

2. You definitely need a minimum GPA to continue to qualify for state and federal aid for additional years.

If you want to receive financial aid, including work-study, grants, scholarships and loans, from the state and federal governments, you need to fill out a FAFSA each year. In addition, you need to show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Each school has its own guidelines and process for SAP, but they may include:

  • A minimum GPA.
  • A required number of credit hours each year, semester or term.
  • A warning or probationary period after falling below the minimum GPA.
  • An appeal process for extenuating circumstances affecting your GPA.

The U.S. Department of Education provides more information on how grades affect federal financial aid. Visit your financial aid office or your college’s website for information on its SAP policies.

3. You may need to repay scholarships or grants.

In some cases, you may be expected to repay at least part of the award if you:

  • Do not attend classes or withdraw from school after a certain date.
  • Drop below full-time.
  • Do not pass enough credit hours in a given time period.

If you are experiencing difficulty in college, even if circumstances are beyond your control, make sure you understand any penalties regarding your financial aid. Your college’s financial aid and academic advising offices can help you determine your options.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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10 Ways to Get Fit for Free (Infographic)

Download the infographic as a PDF.

With the new year often comes a resolution to lose weight, get in shape or otherwise improve health. Gym memberships, personal trainers and coaches are often outside the budget for students, however. The good news is that you have many options to get fit for free.

1. Walk instead of ride. Depending on your location, you may be able to walk to school, work and shops instead of driving the car or getting on a bus or train. Besides increased health benefits, you’ll save money on car maintenance, parking and fuel.

2. Use household items or public structures. Find a convenient set of stairs, track or trails to get in a good cardio workout. For strength training, start with a bottle of water and graduate to a bottle filled with sand; then move on to larger jugs as you get stronger. If you’d like to increase agility and flexibility, design your workout around park benches, playgrounds or even your living room furniture.

3. Search for free equipment. Start at home; you may have family members who have invested in machines, weights, mats, balls and other equipment and then abandoned them. You can also search or advertise on online sites like Craigslist or Freecycle for equipment that other people no longer want.

4. Download a fitness plan or app. If you need a structured schedule to stay on track or if you aren’t sure what you should do when, look online or in an app store. Free tools are available for all fitness levels and goals.

5. Mix it up. If you tend to get bored with a workout, search out free podcasts, TV shows and online videos or head to the library for videos and books. You can switch to another program easily as soon as you get tired of your current one, or vary your routines daily to avoid burnout.

6. Use student facilities and programs. If you’re a college student or a high school student taking college classes from a nearby campus, check out the athletic and recreation facilities. You may have free or nearly free access to classes, personal training, gyms, fields and courts. If you’re in high school, check with the coaches and administrators on open gym times, weight room availability and track policies.

7. Join a sports team. If you find it difficult to stay motivated on your own, consider joining a team. If you aren’t up to tryouts for a school team, look at intramural, community and amateur leagues. A desire to perform well in a game can help you stay motivated between games or seasons.

8. Become a friend of dogs. With today’s lifestyles, many pet owners would gladly allow a responsible student to walk, jog or play with their dogs on a regular basis. In fact, a lot of owners will pay students to do just that, so you can earn money while getting in some exercise.

9. Volunteer. Look for a volunteer opportunity that will allow you to get a good workout in on the job site. Communities often have home building and repair organizations, clean up committees and landscape crews that rely heavily on volunteers. If your community doesn’t have any, consider starting one or just help out your neighbors. Shoveling snow from several driveways or push-mowing a few lawns a week will keep you in shape.

10. Improve your diet. Free recipes and meal plans are widely available online to help you create a shopping list of healthful foods. If you’re unsure what type of dietary change is best for you, ask your family doctor at your next checkup or check for advice at the campus health clinic. You can also see if you can set up a free, no-obligation appointment with a nutritionist at your local grocery store. Weight loss centers also often offer a free initial consultation; just be sure you won’t have an obligation to pay for any future services when you make the appointment.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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Use Winter Time to Search for Scholarships

When it’s cold outside and you feel stuck inside, a good way to pass the time is to focus on the future. And this time of year is perfect for scholarships. There are a lot of organizations and businesses that are opening up their scholarship applications now and you can get a lot accomplished.

  • Start with a general search and get organized.
    Outline the scholarships you qualify for by due date and then make a list of the requirements. Ask yourself: do you need essays, and what are the topics? Do you need letters of recommendation; how many and from who? Do you need a list of your accomplishments?
  • Make sure your activities resume is up-to-date.
    If you need to create one, visit ICANsucceed.org/materials and download the template from the resource zone. Having this list of your accomplishments well-organized is a great way to help those writing you recommendations.
  • Ask people to write you letters of recommendation.
    Provide these people a copy of your activities resume, along with anything specifically requested from the scholarship. If you need a general letter, mention that, but you can also ask for a letter that touches on specific things requested in the scholarship application guidelines. Be sure to give your letter writers plenty of time. A couple days is not enough. Try and give two to three weeks if possible.
  • Focus your time on the applications and essays.
    Some applications will have specific topics for your essay, while others will just ask for a personal statement. Make yourself stand out and be unique. Share your personality while following the guidelines provided. Your essay may be one of a hundred or more a scholarship review committee reads; you want to stand out and be remembered. Take your time and always have someone else read your essays and get feedback. Never submit your first draft.

Scholarships are a lot of work, but the payoff can be big if you take your time and really put in the effort. Remember a couple hours spent on a scholarship worth $500 could wind up paying you $250 per hour. That’s the best part-time job you could possibly find to help you pay for college.

If you need help with the scholarship process you can check out ICAN’s virtual presentation on the scholarship process. This video goes through searches, applications, essays and letter writing. Visit www.icansucceed.org/virtualpresentations to learn more. You can also begin your search for scholarships with the ICAN scholarship database: www.icansucceed.org/scholarships.

And finally, if you’re a senior, don’t forget to apply for the ICAN scholarship at www.icansucceed.org/ICANscholarship.

By: Iowa College Access Network

This is Contributed Content. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information contained in Contributed Content are solely those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect the opinion of Iowa Student Loan and/or this blog. See the “About” page for additional important information about Contributed Content.

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Scholarship Tips for Parents

Many families find they need additional funds to pay for college. Especially if your family does not qualify for a lot of need-based financial aid, merit-based scholarships can help fill the gap.

While your student will be the one qualifying for scholarships, filling out applications and writing essays, parents can assist in several ways. Here are some steps you can take.

Encourage your child to participate in appealing extracurricular activities. Many scholarship committees are looking for well-rounded applicants who have accomplishments, leadership and involvement outside the classroom. Extracurriculars can include school, religious and community groups, volunteer efforts, sports, fine arts, employment and a variety of other activities. The specific activities—or the number or variety of them—should reflect your student’s interests and situation.

Frame the conversation by setting a budget. Many teenagers don’t have an accurate idea of how much college costs or how much their families are able or willing to spend on their education. Have an honest conversation about true current and estimated future costs for the types of colleges your student is considering and how much you can contribute. Then, you can discuss ways your student can contribute financially, including through scholarships.

Search early and often. Use free online search sites beginning as early as your student’s sophomore year to get an idea of the types of scholarships your student may qualify for. You can gather ideas about test scores, grades, activities or other specific requirements that your student may be approaching or considering. Your student should continue the search as he or she approaches senior year and throughout college because new opportunities arise at different stages.

Work together to brainstorm scholarship sources. Besides online scholarship searches, your family should consider additional sources of scholarships. Employers (yours, your student’s and those of other family members, as well as local employers), churches and nonprofit organizations, community and civic groups, local companies and high schools all may offer awards in varying amounts and for a variety of qualifications. Encourage your student to apply to both smaller and less selective scholarships as well as any more competitive awards he or she may qualify for. Don’t forget to investigate scholarships offered by the colleges and academic departments your child is considering; these are often the largest awards.

Set aside a specific time to devote to scholarships. As their senior year becomes more hectic with college applications, classwork and other activities, students may struggle to find the time to devote to a quality application. Help your child by designating a specific time to search for scholarships and manage applications and essays. The schedule may change in frequency as your student nears deadlines.

Help with ideas, editing and proofreading. Help your student come up with ideas for essay responses that fit the prompt while conveying what’s most important to your child. You may recall events or activities from earlier in high school that your student has now forgotten or considers unimportant. You can also provide a fresh eye to catch errors and other problems with essays and applications. Just remember that scholarship committees are used to reading student work and will recognize an overly involved parental hand.

Consider financial aid consequences. If your student will be eligible for need-based aid, like grants or work-study, investigate how each college treats merit awards. Some colleges will offset need-based aid with any outside scholarships; others allow a student to “stack” awards to maximize aid. If this information is not readily available in the financial aid, costs or admissions pages of the college website, contact the admissions office directly for details.

Recognize the accomplishment. If your child earns one or more large scholarships or many smaller ones, your family may be able to significantly reduce the amount spent on college. You may want to reward your student by matching a portion of the earnings. The match money could be designated for books or other expenses not covered by the awards or you may leave its disposal up to your student. Regardless of the final outcome, remember that your student has put at least some and possibly a great deal of time and effort into the scholarship process. Recognize that with sincere words, a tangible reward or other gesture.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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How to Manage Scholarship Applications

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You may feel like you already have enough to do managing senior year classes and activities, college and scholarship applications and other commitments.

Even though it may seem like you don’t need to add to your load, a couple of simple tricks can help you feel less anxious about scholarship results. And, you’ll be ready with an informed answer when Mom or Dad asks about your progress.

Here’s how to stay on top of scholarship applications:

Get Organized from the Beginning
Set up a spreadsheet with all your scholarship application information. Your scholarship search is unique, but you can set up a basic spreadsheet using the suggested categories below and customize them as needed.

For each scholarship you apply for, include the following information as applicable:

  • Name of scholarship
  • Scholarship sponsor
  • Sponsor contact information, including preferred methods of contact or no-contact requests
  • Award amount
  • Whether the scholarship is a one-time or renewable award
  • Name of the website, person or other source that made you aware of the scholarship
  • Website login information
  • Required elements for the application
  • Deadline
  • Submission date
  • Expected date of award notification
  • Method of award notification
  • Any additional requirements to accept scholarship
  • Notes or special information

Check for Updates
Once you submit a scholarship application, make sure you check often for updates and notifications. Depending on the scholarship, you may need to check your email (don’t forget to look in your spam folder), listen to voicemail or log in to the scholarship website.

• Respond quickly. You may receive a notice that your application is missing some required information. If you’re missing information or the scholarship sponsor has questions, respond as quickly as you can.

• Check often. Set aside a specific time every day to check your scholarship applications. It may be helpful to move all scholarship-related email to special folder in your inbox. Some email applications allow you to set up rules to do this automatically.

• Pay special attention to announcement dates. Watch for notifications that you have earned a scholarship or are a finalist. Enter any to-dos to submit additional required information or to accept the award on your spreadsheet, and then follow through.

If you haven’t heard within a few days after a publicized announcement date, you may want to follow up with the scholarship sponsor. First check your spreadsheet to ensure that the sponsor didn’t specify no contact or specified only certain forms of contact, though.

Organizing your scholarship application information and staying up to date with notifications will help you remain calm while you wait for results.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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Five Tips for Cutting Costs in 2017

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If one of your goals is to reduce expenses this year so you have more to save or spend on essentials, these five tips to cut costs can help, regardless of what you usually spend money on or where you shop.

  1. Look for sales or discounts. Consumer items tend to be priciest when they first come out in stores. You can often find the same item on sale if you are willing to wait a while. Also look for discounts on similar but older versions, bulk purchases and out-of-season merchandise. Websites and apps are available to let you know when specific items go on sale.
  1. Shop secondhand. Secondhand stores and online sites allow you to purchase good-condition books, clothes, video games and really, almost anything, used. Besides saving you money, buying secondhand also does the environment a good turn by reducing trash and manufacturing.
  1. Make it at home. Coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches, lunches and most food items can be made at home for less than you’d spend at your local drive-thru. Recipes and instructions also can be found online for beauty and hygiene products, cleaning supplies, home décor and gifts that you can make less expensively yourself.
  1. Swap with friends. If you and your friends share interests, you may be able to save money by trading clothes, video games and systems, books and supplies that you’ve grown tired of but are still in good shape. A temporary swap can allow you to break out of your rut without spending more money. You may want to consider discussing what to do in case of damage.
  1. Go without or use less. If you’re paying for a monthly subscription, impulse buys or expensive but not necessary purchases, decide how you can get by with less or go without completely. You may be able to downgrade your phone plan, drop cable TV for a cheaper subscription or service, hit the library for books and magazines, or kick a habit that is costing you money and convenience.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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Understanding Cost of Attendance

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If you have started the process of preparing for your child’s college career, you may have run into several things that have you confused – and maybe a few that have you nervous.

Cost of attendance may be the most confusing term you will hear even though it sounds mostly harmless.

What Cost of Attendance Means
The cost of attendance is rarely the amount paid to attend college. The cost of attendance is the “sticker price” and does not consider scholarships, grants, personal contributions (from a college savings plan or graduation checks, for example) and other financial assistance available to your student. Also, most cost of attendance figures include additional costs that may not be encountered – this is important as your student will most likely be presented with a statement called an award letter that assumes he or she will need those additional funds.

Understanding the Award Letter
Award letters are usually created by the college and sent in February or March. Award letters outline how much one year of college will cost by detailing the tuition and fees and room and board costs. The letter also shows all awards (scholarships, grants, work/study funds) as well as the EFC, or expected family contribution. You may be a bit shocked by the size of the EFC. Before throwing up your hands in despair, please consider the two ideas presented below to help calm yourself.

Transportation Costs
Take a look at one aspect of cost of attendance – “transportation costs.” Although your student will most likely travel back and forth from college for visits and holidays, the amount of these costs can be subtracted from the cost of attendance in most cases.

Two things to consider:

  1. When the time comes to travel, most students will be able to drive home. According to the Higher Educational Research Institute at UCLA’s 2014 freshman survey, approximately 57% of students attend a college within 100 miles of their home. Encouraging your student to carpool can reduce expenses by paying for only a fraction of the gas costs.
  2. Even if you do anticipate your student having travel expenses beyond gas costs, do everything you can to resist the urge to include the costs in any student loans you or your student take out – federal or private. Even a ticket to fly home twice a year can be something that can be saved for or purchased using money earned through wages by working during the school year (bonus: studies show that students who work 10-20 hours a week while in college have better grades and a higher graduation rate as a group). Most likely, the expected family contribution can be reduced by more than $1,000 by removing transportation costs from the bottom line for now.

Book Costs
Another quick way to reduce up-front costs and the amount you or your student may need to borrow is to look at the line item on the award letter for books. You may be surprised at the relatively reasonable prices of books in some cases. Trends toward loose-leaf books (printed on 3-hole punched paper – high quality, not Xerox copies) and book rental has helped reduce costs. Books are another item that can usually be subtracted from the bottom line cost of attendance – pay for books can be paid for with cash from savings, earnings or high school graduation cash. Encourage your student to only purchase books that he or she plans to keep – otherwise rental is a smart path to save money.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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They’re Accepted. Now What?

They'reAccepted-NowWhat

After students make their final college choice, parents’ emotions often fluctuate widely and frequently. There may be sadness that their child will soon leave, pride over the child’s growth and independence, worry over his or her ability to act responsibly, anxiety about completing the required enrollment steps and excitement over the freedom the parents themselves will experience.

However you feel about your student’s imminent college enrollment, you can be his or her biggest support system.

Make sure your student knows what to do when and how.
Your student will need to return his or her acceptance of admission and possibly acceptance of financial aid, sign up for orientation, submit deposits for tuition and housing, and submit transcripts and other documents. More and more, students are able to create an online account on the school’s website and do this electronically.

You can help by keeping dates from the admissions or acceptance packet where they can be easily seen and referenced by you both, whether that is on the refrigerator, a family calendar or bulletin board, an electronic calendar or over the bathroom mirror.

Be ready to validate the decision.
Your student may suddenly question whether he or she made the right choice. Be prepared to provide reminders about why he or she chose the school as well as your faith in his or her ability to thrive at this school. Ask your student to keep an open mind; sometimes the very thing he or she is most worried about — roommates, difficult classes, distance from home — turn out to be either no big deal or the best thing about college. Sometimes it may also help to remind your child that if the school just doesn’t work out after a semester or a year, transferring is very common and easy to do.

Have “the” talk (about finances).
Now that the final decision has been made and you know the first year’s cost and financial aid your student has been awarded, map out finances for the rest of your student’s college career. Expect tuition and fees to increase each year. Consider which scholarships and grants will be renewed and which will only be renewed based on certain conditions, such as a minimum GPA. Think about whether your own income and ability to contribute will increase over that time. Help your student understand the total financial commitment and the options for reducing and repaying debt.

Get your own access.
Once your student has an online account set up, there may be an option to for him or her to designate you to view bills and payments, receive notifications and perform other limited functions. Maintaining your own account allows you to handle common transactions while leaving the responsibility of checking college mail, accessing class notes and information, and monitoring grades with your student.

Build your own support group.
Many schools offer parent and alumni organizations, which often have their own websites, social media groups, newsletters, events and programs. Look for these groups and sign up. This is your chance to get other parents’ perspective and connect with others who are facing the same experience.

Encourage independence.
Your child will soon be doing laundry, making big and small financial decisions, responsible for class attendance and studying, making doctor’s appointments and filling prescriptions, and a host of other tasks independently. Make a list of common activities and help your student check each off between now and the day he or she leaves for college.

Help, but don’t do.
Just as you could only help your child learn to ride a bike, not do it for him or her, now is a time to provide assistance without actually performing tasks for your student. Be the guiding hand as your student finds balance and begins to gain momentum on his or her own.

By: Iowa Student Loan

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