How Can My Teen Avoid Massive Student Loan Debt in College?
Written by Mark Sampson,
in Section American Trends
With the costs of college tuition and housing continually rising, the average student is now graduating with a significant amount of student loan debt.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you plan your educational financing and seek out opportunities ahead of time, you can ensure that your child meets the requirements of the numerous grants and scholarships that are available. Even while your teen is still in high school, they can be taking college prep courses and participating in extracurricular activities that can give them an edge. Plus, a commitment to academic excellence can only benefit them overall.
How to Make a Plan to Avoid Student Loan Debt
The first step in preparation for college begins the minute your teen enters high school. In fact, it’s mostly about high school and everything they do before they apply. If your teen qualifies for advanced placement (“AP”) or college prep courses, they should enroll in them. These kinds of classes not only show a desire to excel, but they may even offer your child the opportunity to get college credit for some of their classes before their first semester – and that’s just one less class to pay for.
Extracurricular activities are also important because being involved in pursuits outside of any academic endeavors shows that the student is well-rounded, responsible, and that they may have something additional to contribute as a higher education student. Additionally, scholarships are frequently awarded to those who show a particular talent or interest, and being involved just means one more area of funding to tap into.
Even if your teen isn’t going to be at the top of the class, they should still strive to get good grades and exhibit a dedication to learning. There is a lot of money available for those that demonstrate a higher level of academic excellence, so a teen slacking off until their Junior year can have consequences. Having said that, it’s never too late to turn things around. Those that issue scholarships and grants not only look at collective GPAs, but also a record of improvement and the scores received on their SAT and ACT tests.
How Can My Child Get Scholarships and Grants?
Some scholarships and grants – like those issued by the federal or state governments, and the colleges themselves – are issued automatically when your grades are submitted and/or you have filled out the FAFSA application (Federal Application for Student Aid). Often the college will offer information regarding scholarships you may qualify for, but other than that, you can find them through independent listings, checking with high school counselors, and through groups affiliated with the extra-curricular activities your child has been involved in.
If your teen has been struggling through school, or is even suffering from addiction problems, you want to help them get back on the right track, consider Cedar Ridge Academy. They specialize in academic excellence through a holistic learning environment that facilitates positive behavioral changes through learning.