As parents, we look forward to the day that our child gets accepted to the college of his or her choice. Unfortunately for many parents, the joy of their child's college acceptance is overshadowed by the financial anxieties. The good news is that there are a surprising number of options available to help parents deal with spiraling costs. From scholarships and financial aid to special savings plans and low-cost loans, there are plenty of ways to make the college experience less of a financial burden.
Investing in the Future
When it comes to assessing the practical value of a college education, there's no arguing with the basic stats: workers with a bachelor's degree earn 62% more than those without. That's why, for most parents, obtaining a college education for their children is virtually an article of faith, something we take for granted as a necessary ingredient for a stable, successful life.
Strategic Planning is the Key
While it's true that the cost of college can be truly daunting — some top schools are charging upwards of $40,000 a year — it's also true that many families are finding ways to ease the financial burden. So, what steps can you take to make the whole process as easy and as painless as possible?Here are some surprising answers:
● Improve your credit score. Establishing good credit can help you secure the low-cost loans you may need — and save thousands of dollars.
● Plan for the unexpected. Estate planning and the right kinds of insurance will help protect against the derailment of your child's college plans.
● Save smart and early. Gain a significant advantage and maximize your resources by choosing the college-savings plan that’s right for you.
The bottom line: college is a major investment in your child’s future. And, like any investment, it is wise to do as much early preparation and research as possible. It may also be advantageous to enlist the support of an experienced professional who can advise you based on the specifics of your situation.
 Franzblau, Michael (2007). Tuition Without Tears. Los Angeles: Convergence Media Group.