This time of year is a busy one for incoming freshman and their parents. They have to figure out housing, classes, campus visits, and much more. This post is to help out the parents and make the college transition for them and their student easier.
The first tip is to remember YOU are one of the best educational resources for your student! Share your own financial mistakes with your student. Know that a financial mistake doesn’t mean you foolishly spent your money or accumulated a lot of debt. By talking about your financial mistakes you can help prevent your student from making the same mistakes. Your student may be more willing to share their financial concerns with you if they know that you aren’t perfect with your money either.
Help your student fill out the FAFSA correctly EVERY year
- Count your student as a member of the household
- If the custodial parent has remarried, the stepparent’s information must also be included
- Do not include retirement assets
- Do not inflate your education level. If you did not graduate college, select “high school” as the highest education attainment
Talk to your student about how your insurance covers them while they’re in college
- Find out if your homeowner’s insurance covers your student’s belongings in a dorm or apartment. If it does not or the coverage is not sufficient, your student should get renter’s insurance
- Some policies limit a student’s coverage to 10% of a family’s total coverage
- In many cases, buying separate renter’s insurance is cheaper than increasing your family’s coverage
- Do you have health insurance that covers your student? If not, have them look into the UNL Student Health Insurance.
Discuss credit cards with your student
- Tell your student the difference between debit cards and credit cards
- Students should only have credit cards if they can use them responsibly or they will ruin their credit score
- If your student can handle a credit card, help them choose one with no annual fee and a low APR
- Make sure your student pays their credit card and Ncard bill in full each month and on time to avoid interest and late fees
- Make sure your student understands all of the fees associated with their cards
These tips can make it a whole lot easier for your students to make the transition to college. Be sure to actively talk with your student about finances, because it can have a lasting effect. We look forward to seeing your students in the fall!