(BPT) – As we enter 2023, many students will be choosing fall colleges. Parents have many questions and concerns when it comes to the college admissions process, especially when it comes to costs, scholarships, and financial aid.
College Ave Student Loans recently completed a survey to gain insight into parents’ stresses, concerns, and priorities for providing their children with a college education. Read on for her six surprising findings from this survey that can help parents prepare their students for future success.
1. College tuition is higher than parents expected
Three-quarters of parents say college costs are more difficult to cover than they used to be, and 71% find the actual costs of college to be shockingly high. Parents also often found college tuition, tuition, room, and food costs higher than they had originally expected. Perhaps this is why her one-third of parents said their children went to school beyond their original budget. Starting a conversation with a parent whose child is currently in college can help set expectations about affordability.
2. Complete FAFSA to unlock free assistance
9 out of 10 parents completed the FAFSA this year, but the majority (61%) found the form confusing. To avoid confusion, have all paperwork ready and consult with other parents who have recently completed their paperwork.
Application to FAFSA is free. Even if you don’t think you’re qualified, it’s worth filling out. Your family can qualify for merit aid (money you don’t have to pay back) and at least federal student loans. This offers unique advantages over private student loans, such as an income-driven repayment plan.
3How Families Find Scholarships
There are several ways students and their parents can apply for scholarships, but we don’t know all the options. A survey found that her 30% of students received scholarships and grants as part of the school’s financial aid package.
Families are also finding and receiving scholarships with the help of college counselors and financial aid offices, online scholarship searches, high school counselors, community and local organizations, friends and jobs. was less used, but offers more ways to pay for college tuition.
If you would like to help new students find scholarships, you can use online tools such as Scholarships.com. College Ave also has several resources to help with the college selection process, including college application checklists, instructions on how to apply to FAFSA, and monthly $1,000 scholarship sweepstakes.
4. Financial Aid Certificate Recognition
When financial aid letters arrive in the spring, many parents find it easy to compare letters. However, 74% of the parents who received the letter found that the family’s expected contribution to their child’s education was higher than expected.
Because of this unexpected contribution, families must explore multiple ways to fund a student’s education, from income and savings to scholarships and student loans.
5. Student preparation Finance life skills
Before they go to college, we need to make sure they have the life skills they need to live independently. I have made sure that I have mastered some skills such as preparation, work, etc. The most common was opening a checking and/or savings account (85%).
However, many students were able to practice other important financial skills. For example, only 48% paid their bills, 26% balanced their budgets, and 24% understood their investments. For parents of soon-to-be college students, it’s important to help their children develop their financial skills before classes begin in the fall.
6. Advice from parents to parents
Parents who have already sent their children to college have valuable insight into the process. They recommend that parents of new students encourage their children to apply for more scholarships, fill out FAFSA applications, and prepare for unexpected college costs.
Develop a plan for student success
Even after combining savings, scholarships, grants and financial aid, students and their parents may find that they cannot cover the full cost of tuition. To fill the gap, you may need to consider student loans.
Use tools like the College Ave Student Loan Calculator to estimate future monthly payments and get a clear breakdown of loan amounts, repayment terms, and interest rates.
If you already have kids in college and are taking out student loans, use our student loan refinance calculator to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans. For more information on private student loans and other college financial tools, visit CollegeAve.com.