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Lessons Your Child Can Learn from Working to Pay for College

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Lessons Your Child Can Learn from Working to Pay for College

With college in the near future, the High School Class of 2022 is on the verge of adulthood in so many ways. Many students, however, don’t think realistically about the cost of attending college, or get their heart set on a particular school without any interest in how their parents are going to pay for it. This inattention could cause financial problems for the family, or for the student who may encounter difficulty making student loan payments after graduation.

One big life lesson is learning how to make and manage your own money. Start now by becoming an active participant in learning how much it will cost to attend colleges on your list, including travel and personal expenses. Use online calculators to estimate how much financial aid you might receive, and subtract that from your estimated costs. The remainder is money that you will either have to borrow, or earn to pay for college. If the amount is a surprise, then you can start thinking about ways to earn money to help cover those college expenses.

Benefits of Working to Pay for College

In addition to earning money, there are other benefits students realize by working to help pay for college:

      • It helps the parents: Most parents of college students are thinking about saving for retirement, taking care of elderly parents, or looking at sending more children to college. If they assume sole financial responsibility for college costs, they become over-burdened and the child learns nothing.
      • Increased appreciation for the value of an education: Students who do not pay anything toward college expenses do not know how to place any value on it. They might think about skipping classes, taking easy courses, attending for five years, or sliding by with lower grades. If they are paying part of the cost, however, they become much more interested in learning to get a better value for their investment.
      • Better time allocation: Instead of spending time with friends or going out to parties, a working student has a better understanding of how to allocate time between work, study, and recreation.
      • Increased budgeting skills: A student who learns now that income must exceed expenses has a better handle on planning for future life budgeting needs, such as buying a car or taking a trip.

Ways to Work to Pay for College

The more your student can earn for college, the less your family will have to borrow in student loans. Some work options include:

      • Federal Work-Study Program: This provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
      • Private Jobs: Students can find their own jobs off-campus, which might be more to their liking.
      • Paid Internships: A paid internship in their field of study can provide both income and real-world experience.
      • Online options: There are more jobs open online now for freelance jobs and virtual assistants. Students with creative abilities can create items or artwork to sell online.
      • Participate in application process: Completing financial aid and scholarship applications can require diligence, time and work, but there are financial rewards to be achieved by approaching these tasks as non-paying jobs. Set a schedule, show up on time, and complete your job to the best of your ability. Reducing out-of-pocket expenses can be your job for the new few months.

CFAA is here to help with every step of the financial aid process Set up a CFAA new client free strategy session to learn more about finding ways to pay for college. To get the latest financial aid information and college application to-do lists, look for my weekly JustAskJodi emails and check out my monthly CFAA e-newsletter.

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