Applications are due! Get your paperwork in, as many schools have “early decision” programs.
Start gathering up your financial information – you’ll need it to complete the FAFSA form. Note – be sure you enter the correct income and asset information, as rules have changed. For example, for the 2019-2020 FAFSA applications, you’ll be using your tax return information for the 2017 tax year.
Don’t forget to start stocking up on all of those college student must- haves. Consider used cars, laptops and dorm essentials into gift-giving dates year-round to spread out some of those “back to school big ticket items.”
Research scholarship opportunities aggressively. Have information at your fingertips concerning activities, interests and academic performance.
Have “the budget” conversation with your teen, so they know what expenses you’ll be covering and which ones you won’t. Discuss a strategy for ways your student can contribute, such as a part-time job or a work-study program. Make sure your child has access to a large network of no-fee ATMs where they’ll be attending school, perfect for those late-night pizza runs. Setting up a secured credit card or a joint credit card with a low-limit can help your child learn how to manage their cash flow and debt, and build a credit history, without getting into too much financial trouble.