When should we start planning for college?

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]Your teen’s schedule is jam-packed. We know.

Sports, band, clubs, extracurriculars…there are so many commitments your teen must honor, that it’s hard to find the time to even begin to think about what comes next.

By the time senior year rolls around, you’re having that “Oh shoot!” moment. It’s time to start planning.

Or is it?

The truth is, it’s down to the wire now.

It’s never too early to start planning for what comes after high school. That doesn’t mean your child needs to start researching schools in the 8th grade. But it does mean that you, as parents, could start talking to your teen about his or her passions and interests…and start opening your minds to potential career paths.

College Liftoff, an Ohio-based college planning firm with an innovative approach to higher education, recommends beginning the college planning process between the end of your child’s sophomore year to the middle of their junior year.  That way, you and your teen have enough time to truly determine his or her best career path and vet the schools with the best programs for that career path. Additionally, you have the time to get the best price for those schools.

Unfortunately, when you wait until your teen’s senior year, time becomes more of an issue…and you and your teen have less time to research the best programs and negotiate that best deal.

This is not your fault as a parent–as no one tells you these things.no one quite conveys the urgency or explains the long-term benefits from starting college preparation by the time their teens begin their junior years. According to the Columbus Dispatch, teens in Ohio spend less than 10 minutes a year talking to their high school guidance counselors about college!

And…life is busy! Unfortunately, though…life doesn’t get any less busy…and when you wait until your teen’s senior year, it truly makes for a busier and more stressful college planning process.

According to College Liftoff, all hope is not lost if your teen is a senior. What they will do is just put you on the “fast track” and work with your family more urgently.

College Liftoff’s goal is to save you time, stress and money when it comes to college…and typically saves families between $10k-$15k a year off their college costs. Of course, the sooner you start planning, the easier it is to save more money…so, if you can help it, make college planning a priority as early as you can. Your child’s future deserves it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]