College planning can be a complicated new world for families to figure out. Now, with COVID-19 forever changing the college experience, it’s even more confusing.
Universities and colleges nationwide are all making different individual decisions about reopening. According to the New York Times, more than a quarter of U.S. colleges plan to begin fall instruction fully or mostly online, but many are still opening up their dorms.
Parents and students are having to ask themselves questions that they never thought they would: Is it safe to go back? Can our family even afford college anymore due to COVID-19–related financial strain? Should I go to community college to save money? Should I move on-campus, or stay at home and take classes remotely?
There’s no one good option. Parents and their children may even disagree on what is the best choice. At The Humphreys Group, we always emphasize the importance of having open and honest conversations about money. And so in today’s blog post, we’re sharing six tips on navigating difficult money conversations surrounding college.
Six Tips on Navigating Difficult Money Conversations About College
1. Do your research. Before having a discussion about college plans with your child, understand all the options available. Will their school offer more financial aid? Will housing costs be reduced, or will a housing credit be offered? What student loan options are available? Will their school hold their spot if they take a gap year?
2. Commit to having family financial conversations now. Set a dedicated time to have a conversation about college and finances.
3. Listen. This is a momentous time for your child. Be sure to listen to your child’s perspective, their worries, their questions, and their goals.
4. Start broadly, and then get specific. Have an open and authentic conversation; ensure everyone’s goals and values are understood. After everyone has had time and space to share their thoughts, address the specifics. Look at what financial resources are available and create a plan.
5. Continue the conversation with regular, ongoing dialogue. Family financial conversations are not one-time events. You should revisit your financial situation with your family regularly.
6. Consider outside advice. A financial advisor can be an objective third party in these conversations and help you develop a strategic, comprehensive financial plan.
College Planning with The Humphreys Group
No one expected college to look like this a year ago, but financial planning is all about planning for the unexpected. At The Humphreys Group, we welcome these challenges with a deep commitment to providing you with a comfortable, collaborative setting to explore your concerns and follow your dreams.
Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you may live fully and confidently. We are devoted to seeing you thrive, both financially and personally. Reach out to us today for more information about college planning with The Humphreys Group.