May 1st is National College Decision Day for college bound high school seniors. It is the day when students commit to a college and send in their deposits to hold their college spot. That’s step one in the journey of paying for college.
Congratulations on making this hard decision and finding the right college fit! Here at PayForED, we know how hard it is to narrow down the criteria of right environment, academics, and affordability. Now that your decision has been made, it is time to celebrate and take a deep breath. It might also be the time to buy that college gear, so that you can proudly announce this college decision!
At PayForED, we are always trying to keep you on the right track, ahead of the college process and help you understand how to pay for college. Listed below are a few items to be aware of as you and your child transition into college.
Here is a quick list for the college-bound student:
- Respond to your offer of admissions – make sure you understand the financial aid award letter!
- Submit your non-refundable deposit
- Decide on housing and food service by signing the service contract
- Sign up for new Student Orientation and take any assessment test required
- Make sure you submit your final high school transcript documentation
- Check your new college email and student portal regularly. Include your parents in the correspondence sent to you. The colleges expect students to take ownership, not the parents.
Here is a quick list for the parents:
- Parents make sure your child is aware that financial information such as tuition bills, registration, and orientation deadline will be sent to them. They will need to keep you updated.
- Review your offer of admissions again. Any questions about loans or merit scholarships can be addressed to the financial aid office.
- If you haven’t completed a FAFSA, it is not too late to submit it. Families are not eligible for federal loans unless a FAFSA is completed.
- Parents should turn on the DRT FAFSA verification.
- Start investigating financing options, if necessary. Your financing options will include federal student loans, private student loans, Parent PLUS and maybe a home equity loan.
For students and parents, the final bill for college will arrive sometime in late June or July. I am mentioning this so that families can review their strategy for paying for college and start thinking about their payment options. Check with the college about what payment options are available and if they have any tuition installment plans. Some schools have payment plans that allow up to 10 payments in a year. The bursar’s office would be the place to inquire about this information. The first payment is usually due in August, so there is plenty of time to investigate and develop your plan.
As you continue on this college journey, keep in mind that PayForED has various webinars and news updates to help you stay informed on college topics. We provide you with the necessary information to keep you organized. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a monthly newsletter as well as notices of any financial aid alerts that happen throughout the year.
If you need more support, PayForED offers multiple software solutions that assist you in areas such as making a college selection through repaying student debt. Congratulations on the college pick and enjoy the next couple of months of graduation, parties and proms!