Should You Pay for Your Child’s College Education?

College. If you have kids, it’s a possibility looming on the horizon. You probably have plans for your children to attend some type of institution of higher learning, whether it’s a community school, a state university, or a prestige destination amongst the Ivy League. Each of those represents a very different dollar amount and, depending on your particular financial situation, one or more of those may be less likely than another. But, of course, you want the best for your child and if he or she has a good chance of getting into a prestigious school you may be tempted to ensure that it happens, financially.

But is this really the smartest move for you? Many parents wrestle with the question of whether or not they should take on the responsibility of paying for college. It’s a decision that should factor in a few critical components, like how much you have saved up to pay for an education. Are there other avenues that can help to lessen that costly burden? Will paying for college put your retirement in jeopardy? What about student loans? All of these are pressing matters when it comes to paying for college. But before you make any major decisions, here are some things you should keep in mind…

Consider Your Financial Situation

Even if you’re flush with cash and can easily afford to pay for college, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you must. This is a decision you should discuss with your child. Where do they want to go, what are their chances of being accepted into that school? What other choices have they considered? This conversation is a way of discussing how much college could ultimately cost and whether or not you can afford it? Also, discuss if you want to take on that expense. If you could potentially go into debt to pay for your college, it may fall to your child to be in the driver’s seat for paying to go to college.

Investigate Financial Aid Resources

After you’ve had the discussion as to where your child would like to go to school based on the realities of getting into those institutions, explore financial aid options. This can help defray some of the costs coming out of your pocket. Student loans are also a possibility, which means your child could be saddled with significant debt after they graduate. Getting a student loan may rely upon your willingness to co-sign that loan with your child which could mean taking on higher financial responsibility than you may be prepared to assume. What if your kid defaults on the loan or can’t find a good job in a short period of time? You may be the one they go after for reimbursement.

Start Local

Community college is a good way to begin your kid’s higher education, at least until you or he or she can afford to pay for tuition at a private school. This avenue reduces costs significantly, your kid can live at home for the time being and the core classes are very much the same as those offered at more prestigious college programs. No one declares for a major until junior and senior year, at which point your child could switch to the school he or she has had their heart set on. Taking Maryville’s DNP degree online can pave the way for attending Hofstra University later on.