You or your child may have an ideal college in mind. Whatever is that dream school, it is important for both you and your child to understand the financial implication of attending college on your child and your family. Before getting carried away with the dream of attending any particular college discuss the financial realties of attending college with your child. Explain to her what is possible under particular circumstances. Sure, your family may make sacrifices for your child to attend Stanford, but will it do that any other college?
Creating a family plan can also foster creativity in the college application process. If your child understands your family’s ability to pay for college, she can find colleges that may offer substantial merit scholarships or need based financial aid that fit your family’s budget. Whatever your family can afford, have the conversation earlier than later. By taking into account your family’s finances, your family can craft an appropriate college list for your child to apply to that she will be able to attend if accepted.