Choosing the Right School for the Student and Family

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As high school seniors approach graduation, families face two critical decisions – choosing the right school and determining how to pay for it.

Some schools are chosen based on “sticker price;” however, that choice usually doesn’t result in the right school or the least expensive school.

Others are chosen based on location or family expectations; again, that may not result in the right or least expensive choice.

College planning should be based on professional planning and debt management, not cost, location, or expectations…

Families should begin their college planning campaigns much earlier than junior or senior year in high school.

In fact, proper planning should begin somewhere between 7th and 10th grade, as a student’s first year’s eligibility for financial aid can be locked into place starting January 1 of that student’s sophomore year in high school.

According to Christian Davis, University of Houston scholarship and financial aid adviser, “…it is not just about comparing schools… it is also about planning for the financial aspect…as soon as a child is born. If they didn’t start that early, I would recommend they start their freshman year of high school,” Davis said.

According to JoEllen Soucier, executive director of financial aid for Houston Community College, “…choosing a college should begin in ninth grade. The pupil’s parents should also be planning for the costs of college even before freshman year. Realistically, parents should start planning for college costs at the birth of a child. College costs are a lifetime planning process to reduce and eliminate debt as much as possible.”

If you’re starting to plan later than you should and could use some help, contact our professional college planners for assistance with your campaign.

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