Single Parents and the College Financial Crunch
The price of gas and college continue to go up, up and up. The cost of college and university attendance is twice as expensive as eight years ago. Gas prices may ease, but financial experts are not predicting any drop in college expenses within the foreseeable future. Congress is cutting back on loans and government sponsored scholarships. Industry has also cut back on the amount of scholarship dollars.
We hear a lot of talk about dead beat moms and dads who won’t pay child support even when they can afford it. They run and hide, change their names and get new social security numbers. Some even cross the border. Then they get lost in the system, sometimes forever. Expect them to help with college, forget it! And, this year, every college student will graduate owing an average of ,841. In four years the amount is expected to be well over ,000.
Do not despair single parent. Whether you have lost your spouse through sickness, divorce, accident or? You do have options, but do not “put off” discussing college with your student. Do it now! Find out if he/she has college on the mind. Is there a particular institution? What are they interested in studying? They may not know right now. Have they thought about the reality of college costs? How do they think it will be paid? Who will pick up the bill?
What is a single parent, you, supposed to do? What are your
alternatives? First, realize that your child may not be interested in
college right now. But, many students change their minds at the last
minute. In fact, almost 81% of all students, who claim no university
interest, change their minds as a high school senior. You cannot afford to take a chance. Don’t wait. Have that conversation now!
Start in middle school/junior high talking about the importance of
college. Send away for college literature, and leave it in conspicuous places around the house. Have relatives or friends discuss their college experiences in front of your child. Take short visits on the weekend to the college or university in your area. Make sure to visit the canteen and order a sandwich. Go to the campus bookstore. Get some souvenirs to take home. Mention the importance of grades.
Encourage the college spirit by supporting teams in person or on
television. Stress the value of college scholarships in money as well
as prestige. Get active. Start accumulating books, magazine and
newspaper articles on scholarships. And, check out local libraries
for scholarship materials.
Even with government and business cutbacks, there are still billions
of scholarship dollars out there. Your student can win with support and encouragement. Become a promoter and persuade the whole family to
“CATCH SCHOLARSHIP FEVER.” You can do it. Your student can
do it. You know you can, and the financial reward can result in
thousands of dollars.
Remember, the scholarship effort is truly a family affair, and
everything in life is a decision. Make the right one today for your