Next Steps for a High School Freshman
Set up a 529 College Savings account.
Research your options and open the account.
CollegeBacker makes it easy to start saving in a 529 College Savings Plan in 5 minutes. Plus, it's a free program.
Maximize Your Financial Aid from Colleges. Evaluate How Your College Savings Strategy will be Viewed.
Need-based financial aid is determined by "prior prior year" income. Understand what your adjustment options may be before it's set in stone.
Explore Employer Benefits.
Contact your employer to understand if they will help with college costs. Many employers have scholarship programs, contribute to 529 plans, or offer other tuition assistance programs.
Find or Schedule a Meeting with Your Financial Planner.
Grow your investment confidence to ensure you can pay for college, go on your dream vacation, and build your retirement funds.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is a professional association with over 3,700 financial planners acorss teh nation. They make searching for financial planners easy based on your needs and geography.
Keep Your Grades Up.
Better grades often translate into merit aid.
Need help? Consider getting a tutor. Wyzant has 1–on–1 lessons with the expert instructor of your choice. You decide when to meet, how much to pay, and who you want to work with.
Prepare for the PSAT.
Exceptional scores may convert to free money, so ensure your kid familiarizes themselves with the test.
PrepScholar offers affordable online PSAT Test prep courses. They're the only online programs scientifically designed to understand student strengths and weaknesses and customize exactly to your abilities.
Consider Taking Dual Enrollment or AP Classes.
Save money and time on your future degree while in high school.
Ask you guidance counselor what your high school offers to create your high school plan to boost your college credits now.
Start Exploring College.
Search by your interests, size, location and more. Tour college campuses to get a firsthand view.
SimpliCollege helps you explore college options based on your individualized needs and helps you keep track of key milestones and deadlines.
Monitor Your Credit and Identity.
Review changes to your credit score and detect instances of identity theft by regularly checking your credit report.
Credit Sesame allows you to track changes in your credit report and score with real-time alerts for free. Credit Sesame lets you head off potentially fraudulent activity and pinpoint errors so you can take steps to address them swiftly.
Improve Your Credit Score.
Build up your credit strength now to help with the future. A stronger FICO will get you better rates if borrowing.
Did you know that $1,000 in savings,
could save you $1,500 in student loan repayment*?
Planning in advance for college costs prepares you for this major financial investment. Whether you want to increase your search for free money, motivate your family to save, or just avoid (or reduce) student loan debt, taking time now to think about college affordability makes sense. Saving a dollar here and there can add up fast and moving those dollars into college savings accounts means less borrowing down the line.
* Based on a 10 year loan repayment with deferred principal payments at today’s interest rates. Actual savings may vary