Learning the 7 Stages of College Funding

Discover how we get our kids (and us!) through the financial sinkhole of upper education costs..the tuition, the books, housing, and the vast array of “other” expenses?

To finish out this National Month College Savings month of October, I offer up my take on the emotional ride that we go on, figuring out the if’s, why’s, and how’s of prepping for the college experience and the costs involved. Let’s get to it:

  1. Hope…as in hope your kids excel in academics, arts, or athletics. Can you say scholarship? Only a minority of teens will be offered these but maybe? The bad news…the best time to start saving for college was years ago, the good news…the 2nd best time to start saving for college is today!

  1. Despair…this owes to the seemingly ever upward spiral of college tuition and expenses: books, rent, utilities, food/meals, transportation, etc. Some 529 plans allow you to pre-pay tuition but there are many conditions, lots of paperwork, and of course the money can only be used for educational expenses within the family or penalties will be incurred.
  1. Bargain…this may be when you tell yourself that you will eventually address the issue of college funding, just sometime in the future. Can also refer to a situation whereby you allow yourself to enter into a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario as in you will consider selling assets as a source of funds, maybe get a home equity loan, or even consider co-signing on college loans.
  1. Deny…maybe your kids won’t even want to go to college? Getting an advanced degree doesn’t guarantee success in life. Financial aid will always be an option. Surely they can get a part time job that will pay for these things. Need I say more?
  1. Ignore…things always seem to work out so why get all wrapped up in this? I have a lot going on right now so this will just have to wait. Things are always in a state of flux so let’s wait and see.
  1. Accept…a degree has and will continue to exponentially increase (not guarantees) your opportunities in life and guess what? You may not even qualify for financial aid. You may also have to accept that not making a plan makes it that much harder to push forward. If the decision is made on your part to not directly pay college expenses…perhaps you could consider making sure to provide for your family via estate preservation.
  1. Action…what can I do now, and continue to do tomorrow, to insure that my children have the opportunity to pursue an upper-level education…whether I am here to provide it or not. In other words, how can I guarantee funds are available to to provide for this education? Certainly, Cash Value (CV) Whole Life insurance can help with this. It allows you to protect your life’s current and future value as a provider, as well as guarantee a future source of funds that can be easily “borrowed” to pay expenses (not just education) with no qualifying process involved. You may choose to pay these funds back into your policy or not (doing so makes your cash position even better).

Having 2 young sons I am in the same boat as you, and my wife is still paying back student loan(s) for her nursing education. We’re facing some of the same challenges and I don’t hesitate to tell people that CV/ WL is part of my strategy for college funding. Let’s talk and see if I can possibly help you.

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