Did you know: In 2016, students who were starting their first four years of college paid 28% MORE for college than the undergrads a decade ago did and 65% more than students did 20 years ago? Student loans account for the second highest consumer debt category, which is why it’s crucial for high school grads to consider how a student loan will impact them after graduating college.
In 2016, the average student loan was $37,172, the following year the average student loan debt for those graduating in 2017 was $39,400. A Junior Achievement (JA) survey revealed over half of high school juniors (52%) admitted they didn’t know the cost of college tuition and only 59% of high school seniors had $5,000 saved for college.
Before going in to a financial panic, here are some resources to prepare yourself or your teen for life after college:
Wouldn’t it be great to know the breakdown costs of achieving your goals and dreams?
Now you can with JA Build Your Future! Not only is this app FREE, but it also provides teens with a roadmap from choosing a career to calculating the cost of reaching career milestones.
Not every 18-year-old high school grad knows what career path to go down, which is why JA My Way is a great tool! From a personality quiz to job matches, teens explore what they can do now to prepare for tomorrow!
Nurturing STEM Interests
Interested in a career that involves science, technology, engineering or math? You’ll want to check out JA Assembling Your Career.
Once there is a game plan for what career interests you or your teen, it’s necessary to start your financial planning. Here are some ways you can get financial assistance without taking out a student loan:
Fill Out Your FAFSA
Most of us have heard of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but what is it? FAFSA is an annual form that is submitted by a current or prospective college student residing in the USA for financial aid for federal grants, work-study, and loans. Various factors determine whether a student is eligible to receive financial assistance, including adjusted gross income, IRA deductions and payments, and many more. Click here for a list of what’s considered by FAFSA. As some states and universities distribute financial aid on a “first-come, first-serve basis,” it’s essential to get your forms turned in ASAP. Check out FAFSA FAQ here!
The more you save, the less you will have to worry about down the road. All you need to do is start a savings account for your anticipated college expenses. Every little bit you can put away into this account will help.
Look for Scholarships
Scholarships are a great way to help fund your college education. Depending on the scholarship specifics, candidates may be chosen based on elements like GPA or a specific interest. To explore scholarship options, click here!