35% of students attended a college outside of their family’s budget; parents of high school seniors should plan for college costs now
(Wilmington, DE) October 26, 2021 – For families with high school seniors, fall is a busy time spent prepping for college. Students are narrowing down choices, applying to schools and writing essays. In addition to their college application checklist, families should also plan for college costs now to help reduce “financial surprises” next spring. According to a national College Ave Student Loans survey of 1,000 parents of current college students conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsTM, more than 1 in 3 (35%) had a child who attended a college outside of their budget while 7 out of 10 (70%) spent more on college tuition and fees than they had expected.
Perhaps when looking back, this is why most parents of current college students ranked figuring out how to pay for college as the most stressful (66%) part of the process, ahead of filling out college applications (53%), keeping up with college deadlines (51%), or creating a college list (45%). To help families manage the stress around college financing, College Ave Student Loans offers these tips high school seniors and their parents can do this fall:
- Feel good about your college savings. 79% of parents have set aside some money to help pay for their child’s college education, and of those, 64% feel comfortable with their savings amount, according to the College Ave survey. This does not mean that parents are footing the entire bill. Of those who have saved, only 28% have saved enough to pay for their child’s full college education. 43% report they could pay for half or more.
- Be persistent with scholarship applications. The number one piece of advice parents of college students have for parents of high schoolers: encourage your child to apply for more scholarships, said 82% of those surveyed. Where to look? Families who have used scholarships and grants said they were from the school’s financial aid package (65%), ideas from the college counselor or financial aid office (33%), high school counselor (33%), online scholarship search (31%) and community or local organization (24%). An easy scholarship parents can apply for on behalf of their child is the College Ave Student Loans monthly $1,000 sweepstakes.
- Fill out the FAFSA now. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid launched October 1 and it unlocks the door to financial aid (a yearly pool of more than $120 billion). The FAFSA can determine a student’s eligibility for federal grants, need-based financial aid, scholarships and merit-based aid, work study and federal student loans. Some aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis so filling out the FAFSA early helps ensure you don’t miss out.
- Organize your paperwork. More than half of families (58%) who have filled out the FAFSA say it’s confusing and complex. Gather up the important documents you need – including bank statements, tax returns, driver’s licenses, etc. to make filling out the form easier. Also be mindful of mistakes – an error on the FAFSA form can delay the financial aid process.
- Don’t leave stones unturned. More than 1 in 10 parents (12%) said they helped cover college costs through a side hustle or second job. With a child flying the coop soon, hobbies, passions and opportunities you’ve put on the back burner could not only be personally fulfilling but also financially rewarding. Though this was one of the more unconventional ways to pay for college, it highlights there are a number of ways families can work together to cover the tuition bill.
For more tools and expert advice on financial aid and planning for college, visit: collegeave.com.
About College Ave Student LoansCollege Ave Student Loans started with a big vision and a simple mission – take the stress out of paying for college so students can focus on preparing for a bright future. Now a leading fintech lending company, College Ave remains committed to using best-in-class technology and deep industry expertise to deliver practical and personal solutions that give young adults a running start on their roads to financial success. We offer best in class products with competitive rates and a customer-friendly experience from start to finish. Visit: www.collegeavestudentloans.com
About the SurveyThe College Ave Student Loans survey was conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsTM. The national online survey of parents of undergraduate students who attend a 4-year college or university at one of the campuses served by Barnes & Noble College had 1,000 respondents and was fielded in September 2021. Last year, Barnes & Noble College Insights conducted more than 50 research studies and 100+ survey polls of students, faculty and parents that interact with one of its more than 770+ campus bookstores across the nation.