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Are Four Years of College Financing Enough?

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What Can Parents Do?

Parents should honestly evaluate the likelihood that a child will graduate in four years. Is this person a good student who works hard in school and is serious about an education? How clearly defined are the students goals?

Parents should determine how many credits are needed to take each semester to graduate in four years and make sure the child takes that course load. If this isn't happening, parents must find out why and adjust their financial plan accordingly.

If a student falls behind, taking a few summer school classes could remedy the situation. The cost for summer classes is often much lower than the price for a regular term, although summer boarding at a school can be expensive. As an option, your child can live at home during the summer and take courses at a neaby two- or four-year college. However, students should check with an advisor at their school to see which courses and how many credits will transfer.

Planning ahead and monitoring your child's progess is the best way to make sure that school goes smoothly. Overtime may make a basketball game more exciting, but it's the last thing parents want to see for their child's college education.

Comments from readers

"This was very informative. It would be nice to see links for additional college scholarships and/or grants that might offset the cost if extending the 4 years is necessary."