Don’t Make These Mistakes in Your Family’s College Financial Planning

Don’t Make These Mistakes in Your Family’s College Financial Planning

Do you have a college-age son or daughter? If so, then you obviously have a lot of planning to do.

After all, it’s no secret that getting a quality college education is now more expensive than ever before. This is especially true if they plan to attend school out of state, requiring them to live on campus. That’s why it’s so important to start planning your college financial strategies as early as possible.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for guidance. This article takes a look at helpful tips to avoid common mistakes that many parents make when saving for college. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

Waiting Until High School Graduation to Start Saving for College

When it comes to applying for scholarships and other types of financial aid for funding college, the biggest mistake you can make is believing that you have all the time in the world.

In fact, the opposite is true.

Keep in mind that there’s only a limited amount of aid available to be dispersed and the financial institutions will need plenty of time to process your student’s application. Thus the later you apply, the worse your chances may be of receiving the aid.

Making the Assumption that All Schools Offer The Same Financial Aid

It’s also important to remember that every school is different. This means that each university will have its own list of scholarships, grants, and student loans that you can apply for.

The reality is that not all schools are created equal. Some are very well financially endowed, enjoying the benefits of receiving large donations from alumni and businesses, and therefore have the resources to provide superior financial aid packages. Other schools, unfortunately, do not have the same wealth of resources to offer students.

Not Reaching Out For Help

Another big mistake to avoid is thinking that you have to go it alone through the entire process. While it’s possible to do your own research, you’ll be missing out on a bounty of resources that are available to you. For example, you can reach out to the guidance counselors at your child’s school to give you their recommendations and advice. You can also visit the office of Federal Student Aid to find free fact sheets and online tools. If you know the college that your child will be attending, many schools even have dedicated financial aid teams that are available for your benefit. A quick call to your child’s university or college can determine if this is something that’s available to you.

Finally, you may feel it is a good time to take a more broad look at your finances and assess the financial strategies available for your specific circumstances. If this is the case, you can reach out to a financial professional like the ones at Dayton & Sydney.

Failing to Understand How Your Student Ranks In Comparison to the Rest of the Student Body

It’s also important to choose the right school. After all, based on your student’s grades and SAT scores, they will rank differently within each student body. This can have a significant impact on the amount of financial aid they may qualify for.

Focusing On Private Scholarships Rather Than Need-Based Financial Aid

When applying to various universities, keep in mind that private scholarships only make up a small portion of the money available to you. The rest comes from the federal government. Thus, depending on your financial situation, your time may be better spent focusing on pursuing government-provided aid.

A Parent’s Guide to Common Mistakes to Avoid During the College Financial Planning Process

Planning for your student’s higher education can be stressful. Fortunately, these tips are designed to help you avoid common mistakes in college financial planning so that you can save money while providing the best education possible.

Please contact us to learn more about how we can help with your financial planning needs.


Fee-based and non-fee based financial planning is offered by financial professionals who are investment advisor representatives of Equitable Advisors, LLC, a SEC-registered investment advisor.

About Dayton & Sydney

Dayton & Sydney Wealth Strategies Group is a financial services company built on a legacy of hard work and customer service. As a member of the Elite Advisor Group, an internal recognition program of Equitable Advisors at the platinum plus level, we use a solid, innovative and long-term approach to help you accomplish your biggest dreams.

The How-To Guide to Retiring Comfortably

When it comes time to retire, you'll want to be prepared with a plan to enjoy it to the fullest. Check out our How-To Retirement Guide to help you prepare!

Helping you protect what matters most!