By: Lori T. Williams, Owner/Managing Attorney of Your Legal Resource
While high school juniors await the results of their ACT tests, parents should be thinking about and taking action when it comes to college planning and college funding. It’s never too late or too early to start thinking about and planning for college, according to Jeff Taylor. “However, the sooner you start, the more options you have available to you.” Jeff Taylor is a Certified College Planning Specialst, with over 20 years of financial consulting experience. He developed a unique planning program called Tuition Reduction Strategies, which focuses on paying the least amount of money for college.
“Parents have a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to college planning, and this may be due to the fact that there are time sensitive opportunities available to them that they are not aware of”, says Taylor. “For instance, high school juniors should not only be applying for scholarships right now, but also marketing themselves to traditional and non traditional sources of funding.” Taylor likes to start the college planning process with families as soon as possible so he can help them lower their cost of college and avoid the mistakes that lead to over paying for college, or being overly dependant on student loans.
“Marketing a student is a process which starts in high school and should continue throughout their college years. This will help the student attract funding, internships, and future networking relationships for employment or business contacts”, says Taylor. Taylor finds that when a student is properly marketed, they receive the highest amount of college funding.
Another reason to start college planning early, according to Taylor, is to avoid the $50,000 mistake. “Parents sometimes reach out to me during their child’s second or third year of college, when they are feeling the financial pain of paying for college. Interest charges, an additional year of college, increase in tuition, the raiding of college and retirement savings, or other unanticipated costs can quickly add up to an extra $50,000 or more in cost that the parents weren’t expecting. By working with a Certified College Planning Specialist, they can learn how to pay for college using other people’s money first, and minimize the likelihood of these surprises.”
Taylor notes that “many parents focus on the cost of college, rather than on what college will cost them. Funding options exist for all income levels if you know how to timely and appropriately implement them. By working with an experienced and certified planner through the college planning process, parents can learn how to take advantage of certain time sensitive opportunities, and create a ‘financial aid friendly’ college funding experience”.
The important thing is to talk to a college planner sooner rather than later, so you don’t miss out on opportunities that can benefit your child and save you money.
Jeffrey Taylor is a Certified College Planning Specialist, with over 20 years of financial consulting experience. His company, College Funding Resource, LLC, is located in Southfield, MI. Jeff’s planning experience includes but is not limited to college admissions, student loan debt elimination, out of pocket cost recovery strategies, college aid planning, and various techniques that are designed to reduce or eliminate the high cost of college. He also helps real estate investors avoid costly mistakes.