Why Juniors and Sophomores Should Be Focusing on College Funding Now

When is the right time for a high school student to start thinking about college costs and funding options for it? Waiting until the senior year isn’t ideal for most students. In fact, those who start working on this during their junior and even sophomore years may have a better idea of what to expect and what their options are long before they are even applying to schools. There are a few key reasons for this.

Scholarship Planning Starts Soon

Juniors can often begin finding and applying for college scholarships. Once they have an idea of where they would like to go or what they would like to study, it’s time to start thinking about scholarships. Many programs are highly competitive. While they offer outstanding benefits with free access to money for college, they still take a lot of work to earn. That may include writing essays and completing applications. Compile a list of available scholarships in sophomore and junior year to get a jump start on the process.

College Financial Planning Takes Time

Parents can begin planning for their child’s college education nearly as soon as they are born. The sooner this is done, the more flexibility there is likely to be in paying for college costs. Yet, it’s also important to remember that, if you didn’t plan for college then, you can start work on it now.

College financial planning

If your student is a sophomore (or younger) meet with a college financial planner to start getting some insight and support into your options for paying for school. It’s typically a good idea to consider various savings vehicles and investment funds that may help. These are opportunities to help cover the cost of a college education while also helping to keep costs affordable for all involved.

There are various vehicles that may be available to help students with college financial planning, including:

  • Need-based aid – These are resources made available to students based on their financial needs.
  • Merit-based aid – This type of financial support often comes from students who meet academic, athletic, talent, achievement, or other types of requirements.
  • Savings and investing – College savings plans, financial assets, and monthly contributions all play a role in the opportunities available to many students.
  • Tax savings – Some parents may qualify for tax credits and deductions that can help to reduce costs and open the door for cost coverage, including tax-favored investing and business owner strategies.
  • Loans – Many students use loans, and having a plan for accessing them now is critical before heading into senior year.

Start the Education and Preparation Early

There’s never a bad time to start thinking about paying for college either as a parent or a student. From our workshops and seminars to savings vehicles to help parents long before high school, our team is here to help you. Reach out to Accolade Financial to learn what options we can provide to help you navigate the college funding process with ease.