You’re LATE to the party!
If you didn’t know, applications should have been submitted months ago.
What to do next.:
I see this mostly from parents who are from outside of this country AND parents who remember applying to college in the spring of their senior year. 🤦🏼♀️ Things have changed, folks!
This is a complete list of what’s left listed by application deadline.:
Yes, get your kid off of his/her butt, and get those applications submitted.
(Planning on a gap year? It’s better HAVE an acceptance and then ask them to hold it than to hope for acceptance during your gap year activities.)
It’s not just about getting accepted this late in the game. You also have to consider the money. (Many colleges have scholarship deadlines that are earlier than their application deadlines, including colleges with rolling/open or late admissions application deadlines.)
(1) Looking for a top ranked school? The criteria for rankings have nothing to do with educational quality or student outcomes.
State flagship universities are just as good as any “ranked” school with regard to what your kid’s income will be at graduation. (You’d be surprised what companies recruit from your state flagship university.)
If name brand college kids got paid significantly more they would be advertising it. Instead they show pictures of kids laughing and walking on the pretty campus. You can get the same pretty campus for 1/2 the price.
Think: Your kid will have to pay the debt. Keep the debt as low as possible. Today, kids are taking 21 years to pay off a bachelors degree. This is NOT a requirement. 30% of college students graduate debt free. Debt is a choice, and so is using your investments/retirement to pay for your kid’s college.
(2) Will the debt your child has to pay be possible with his or her chosen career at the ENTRY LEVEL income? Likely not. You can Google “entry level salary” for your child’s college major or career choice. Payscale.comcom is one of the sites that tracks this.
Then Google a “college debt repayment calculator” (it’s like an online mortgage calculator.) Input the total debt she will likely have (and plan for 5-6 years of college costs, not 4 years!) Enter a 6.25% interest (the average) and a 10 year debt repayment timeframe.
Can she pay that per month debt on the likely entry level income? (And still afford to live?)
(3) What if… You have some $ saved that won’t cover everything— but you have two kids. I highly suggest “divide by 2” and under no circumstances do you gift your oldest child $ that should be for the youngest. (“Oops sorry sweetie, we spent it all on your big sister.” Your kids will not forgive you.)
(4) Your kid can only get a very small federal loan without you co-signing. When you co-sign for a private loan that debt is 100% yours just as it is for your kid. Got 2 kids? You’re gonna be on the hook for a hell-ova-lot of money. (You will be offered a Parent Plus federal loan. This is not recommended! It’s a much higher interest rate than you can get w a private loan, and it is solely your loan, not your kids.)
(5) Assuming you and your kid will have student loans, due to, frankly, waiting too long to start this process, PAY the interest every month while your kid is in college. Do NOT wait until the required payments are deferred. Interest accrues every month. Pay it every month! Then you’re not adding thousands dollars of accumulated interest on top of the principal.
(6) Not only should college applications have been submitted months ago, but for private scholarships as well. Private scholarships for high school seniors began last MAY! There are still plenty available. Deadlines are every day. Do it NOW!
Every day lost is money left on the table.