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Five Mistakes Not to make for College

Updated on March 28, 2012

I am 26 and I can tell you that high school did not prepare me for college when it came to finances. In high school all you learn is if you get good grades you can go to college. It is the parents who have to dash their child's dream of one day becoming a doctor nurse, accountant, etc. This is not just my story of college debt, but ways to help a parent learn from my mom's and my mistakes.

Plan Early

Today is your child's first day of kindergarten. He will start to learn about all the possibilities of his life. He may even come home and say "Mom, Dad i want to be a fire fighter." Each new day or new week it may be a new occupation. These are the times to start saving some money. I know college is about $15,000 a year, but every little bit helps. If you start saving $20 a week for the next 13 years your child could almost pay out of pocket for one year of school. With the interest from the savings account your child may be able to pay for the first year. He would only need to worry about books and such.

Now it is your child's first day of 9th grade. This would be the prefect time to set them down and talk to them about where they would want to attend. They should also start thinking about their major as well. Some school are better suited for certain degrees than others.

I choose University of Cincinnati when i was wanting to major in music. I knew they had the best music program. By my senior year of high school I decided i would lean towards English, so I ended up going to Ohio University. They had one of the best writing programs in Ohio. Now since we talking about paying for college I let you know I only stayed there one quarter because i couldn't pay for it. Two years later i attended University of Phoenix the online program for Accounting.

Explain to your child the cost of having a higher education. Community colleges are cheaper. Discuss the possibly of going to a community college close to home for two years then transferring out.

Mistake #1 Not to Make

My freshman year of high school my grades were good enough to join post secondary classes. My mom blew it off. Then my sophomore I struggled. I then offered the chance again during my junior year for my senior year and my mom said it would be to hard to get me to the college. Parents if you child is offered this find a way to make it happen. The high school and the college pay for this and it will save so much money out of you pocket. My mom had to help pay for two years of college that she didn't have to.

Mistake #2 Not to Make

The second mistake is thinking that the high school is going to tell you child every thing they need to know about paying for college. If someone would have told me how much I would have to pay back in student loans and how fast i would have to pay. I would still be slowly working on my degree paying out of pocket. The close to $60,000 I have to pay I could buy a house. Right now there is the possibly of student loans doubling. Think about my $60,000 turning into $120,000. Makes you want to tell your child they can't go.

There is all sorts of money out there. Fastweb is a site that should be checked out. Your child can find scholarships on this site. Have your child apply for any and every scholarship that they can apply for.

Mistake #3 Not to Make

Don't let your child put they want their own room. To get a room by yourself you have to pay out more money. If you share a room you get to pay a smaller price. It could save from about 400-700 dollars. My mom actually made me sign up to share a room. I shared with three people.

Mistake #4 Not to Make

Learn about the meals plans and how they work. My mom made me get the biggest plan there was because she didn't want me to starve. I only went to eat like once a day, but I learned because of the kind of plan i had I could use my left over money for the week to go to the campus store and by food for my room. If this is an option at the school your child plans to attend then have them get the biggest plan. After getting to know my roommates we would share the little snacks we would buy.

Mistake #5 Not to Make

Don't buy you books last minute. Go to the book store to see which books you need. Write down how much it would cost you new and used. Then go on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to see if you can find it for a better price. Now remember you have to get it in time for class. An accounting book i would need for 3 classes was going to cost close to $200 in the school book store and it was used. I found it used for $40 on Barnes and Noble and when I got it was close to brand new. Saving every little bit counts.

Also when you go to sell the books back. if the book store is talking really cheap keep the book and post around campus that your selling it. You can always take $50 off the price it will sell quickly.

i hope these tips help and if I can think of more I will of course add them.

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    • Rockstarjain profile image

      Rockstarjain 5 years ago from India

      Actually true in this expensive world, its better to share the room rather then being alone. With being together it's fun.

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