You’re getting ready to send your student out into the great unknown – college! Parents naturally have many college concerns, and we get it! From safety to the transition to adulthood to finding the right college and major, it’s a lot to think and worry about too! 

Of all of these, two of the main college concerns that come up time and time again are: Paying for college and students finishing in 4 years. In a recent survey, 98% of all parents surveyed listed cost and affordability as their #1 college concerns. 

College concerns are certainly warranted, but we aim to eliminate as many of them as possible and help you and your student prepare for the journey ahead. 

The Basics of Fit and Finishing

There are 5 main areas that will contribute to your student’s college success, being able to fund their college dream without sacrificing your future, and actually finishing in 4 years. 

Planning and starting early – the earlier conversations start happening about college, the better. 

Completing Financial Aid forms – completing accurately, correctly and submitting on time. 

The right career and college selection – starting conversations early about strengths and eliminating weak areas. 

Understanding what strategies will work based upon your family and student position – we use a 4 quadrant approach of High Need/High Merit, Low Need/Low Merit, High Need/LowMerit, Low Need/High Merit

Grades and Test Scores – this is important when looking to receive aid from the college itself because 61% of Gift Aid comes from the college itself. 

Let’s break this down a little further and talk more about Fit, Funding and Finishing! 

How Can I Ensure My Student Finishes College in 4 Years?

While there’s no magic formula or promise that your student can finish school in the traditionally allotted time, we have found a lot of factors affect finish time and ways to make sure they get done in 4 years. It starts with the right career and college fit. 

Career and College Fit

A solid career and college fit increase your student finishing college in 4 years or less and finding a career employment opportunity, rather than just a job, within 6 months by 86%. 

But, this doesn’t happen by accident. It requires helping them identify their strengths, eliminating weakness and realizing their unique abilities and brilliance. As they begin to discover these things they can make a career and college choice that fits what they want out of life and fits their abilities as well. This leads to less changing of majors, schools, and extending their college career longer. 

You can learn more about how to start these conversations with your, help them find their unique brilliance and abilities, and finding the right college and career fit through our free Winning the College Game Series. 

How Do We Pay for College?

This is a big question with a lot of answers that we talk about extensively with families and students. We have tons of free resources on financial aid, scholarships, and more here too. 

But, let’s break it down simply: 

Funding the college dream is always a “Reduce Cost, Maximize Resource” situation. 

Your student is the largest influence in reducing the cost of college through their performance through things like grades, test scores, school or community involvement, leadership opportunities, demonstrated interest throughout the college application process, and admissions efforts.  

As the parent, you are the driver behind maximizing your resources as financial aid is typically most influenced by income, asset positioning, and properly completing financial aid forms on a timely basis. In fact, over 83% of all families with fail to complete financial aid forms in a timely and/or correctly manner

Maximum funding always comes together through timely planning, execution, and ultimately maximum leverage … through demonstrating interest, college fit, and the value a student brings to the college.  Competitive positioning and leverage is the way to flip the script on soaring college costs!This a simple breakdown, but we want to give you the information, resources, and tools to figure out the best plan of attack to fund the college dream, without sacrificing your future or retirement. Stay tuned for our next series all about financial aid or catch up on some of our latest posts here.