With the average cost of college tuition on the rise, student education loans are reaching record highs. Our credit counseling advice is to financially prepare for college. Developing a realistic and manageable budget is a lifelong skill that does not just apply to your college years. In this series, American Consumer Credit Counseling will discuss budgeting tips for before, during, and after college. Let’s look at some information about pre-college budgeting:
Pre-College Budgeting Tips – Costs to Keep in Mind
It is important to begin budgeting for college before you even get there. First, determine what schools you can afford. Private universities tend to be very expensive, so if that is not within your price range, look into state schools or even community colleges. Taking classes at a community college for a couple of years could save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you can transfer your general credits over to a four year university later. It depends on what works for your personal financial situation.
By creating a budget, you will have a clear sense of how much you can afford to spend on an education. Your budget will determine how much you will need to make up for in financial aid, scholarships, loans, etc. Use this college cost calculator to determine the total costs associated with your college education in order to create an accurate and realistic budget.
Aside from obvious costs associated with college such as tuition and housing, you will also need to account for standardized tests, test prep courses, college tours, application fees, etc. when applying and preparing for college. Although these one-time fees may seem insignificant, they will quickly add up especially when applying to multiple schools.
Creating a pre-college budget will put you on the path for a financially responsible college career.
If you struggle to pay off debt, ACCC may be able to help. Sign up for a free credit counseling session with us today!