The following is a guest post by Neal Frankle. He's a Certified Financial Planner and blogs at Wealth Pilgrim. Neal writes about taking action steps to improve your financial situation and finding balance at the same time.
How to Save a Fortune on College Tuition
If you're going to send your child off to college soon, you might be shaking in your boots at the prospect of the price tag.
I know I was - that is until my daughter discovered a few amazing ways to get a first-rate education at a fraction of the cost. Here are three tips you can use to buy a great education at a huge discount.
1. Give them money but don't pay their bills.
My daughter quickly learned how to plan and budget. As a result she started saving money...fast.
Open a bank account for your child on campus and deposit money into the account each month. But let them decide how to spend it. If you must give them a credit card, allow them to only use it for emergencies or if they call you to get permission first.
Get them into the mindset of working with a budget. Let them experience (first hand) the reality of limited resources. Give them enough space to blow it….and let them experience what happens when they do. It will be the cheapest lesson they ever learned.
2. Don't experiment
My strong advice is to make sure the kids what they want before they apply for college. If they aren't sure of what they want to do with their life, that's OK. Just don't spend $200,000 in an effort to help them find out. If your child is not really clear on a direction, either "suggest" that they go to work or go to junior college until they have a better idea.
3. Hang Out With The Ivy Leaguers
I wish I came up with this idea but I didn't….my freshman daughter discovered this one herself. It's something you probably never thought of but it is the number one thing you child should do if she wants a first-class experience in college.
Even though she got into 2 fancy pants East coast colleges, we didn't dig the $55,000 annual price tag. As a result, she went to a state college. Since she's a pretty ambitious kid, she gravitated towards the high achieving kids and it was a stroke of genius.
She joined an honors business organization and got involved with student council. The kids involved are all high-achievers. And the organizations have high standards. Participants have to show up on time, maintain high grades, behave professionally and deliver results. In one year, my daughter has grown and matured beyond our expectations.
I have always been of the mind that very little is taught in the class room. My experience tells me that the really valuable lessons are learned "in the field". I honestly think that my daughter is getting a far better educational experience than she could have received had she gone to those snooty East Coast schools. What was your experience in school? Did you get really involved or just party? What was the outcome?