by Tom O'Hare | Dec 10, 2021 | College Planning
We are pleased to share our thoughts and insights on everything college, before during, and after.
Planning the education to career path after high school begins early and planning is critical.
As parents of our own college students, now young adults with families of their own, we understand the challenges faced by family and work to provide guidance and advice.
by Tom O'Hare | Dec 3, 2021 | College Planning, During & After - Just Thinking, Uncategorized
The joy of the holiday season is upon us all. Excitement and anticipation of the holiday season, the arrival of snow, and waiting to hear the reindeer land on the roof are what make December a wonderful time. For many, it is the exchanging of gifts, words of happiness exchanged with family, and blessings for those missing or silent.
The excitement holds for high school seniors and those restarting the education pathways. Anticipating the arrival of college admission decisions, offers of acceptance, and a merit scholarship can be more challenging than waiting to hear if one made the naughty or nice list. Hanging such notice on the refrigerator door can silence the age-old question, where are you going to college? The holiday break is also when college students return from campus, many for the first time since departing home. Parents await the arrival in hopes of good tidings and joy.
As we go to print, Admissions Departments at college and universities throughout New England and across the country are like Santa and his elves, busy at work making decisions on who will be part of the incoming Class of 2022. Counselors will be burning the midnight oil reviewing hundreds of applications, essays, and recommendations to deliver the all-important communication; Congratulations, you’ve been accepted! Keep listening for the bell!
May 2022 Graduates
What’s ahead – What’s the Plan?
Journey Beyond High school – College, work, blend of both, what’s the discussion at the dining room table. I currently have three groups of seniors in my private practice, all graduating in May of 2022, all following their paths of interest. They’re college-bound, attending an apprenticeship, and entering a technology position in the workforce. Today, the education to career pathway is opening up new options to meet the demands of family’s and society. As the Class of 2022 will tell you, whatever the direction, it’s essential to have a plan.
Exiting College – the graduating class of 2022 is gearing up for the most exciting time of a student college life, the Spring semester. Now and through the Spring semester, soon-to-be college graduates should take the time to kick start their job search and create a preliminary financial budget. Walking across the stage with a job in hand makes graduating even sweeter. Start networking, schedule information conversations, and seek out introductions to the hiring manager. Also, remember, if you financed your college experience through education loans, repayment begins six (6) months after you graduate!!
Have You Completed Your FAFSA?
If been writing about the FAFSA for the last few months. So, I’ll ask again. Have you completed and filed your FAFSA?
If you graduate high school this May 2022 and plan to continue your education at a 4YR college or university, Community College, Trade and Professional school, and need help with financing, completing the FAFSA is a must. If you are applying for scholarships or might have some skin in the game (take a low-interest federal loan) to pay tuition, room, board, and other costs, the FAFSA is a must for you. It takes 30minutes…The door opener to year 13th of your education journey!!
My First Semester Was a Blast
But what about your grades?
For sure, the holiday break is a time when new, first-year college students return home for the winter break anticipating good food, long naps, and reconnecting with friends. I’ve navigated the “how are you doing” conversation more than once as the parent of four. What I’ve learned (the hard way) is we need to have patience. Yes, it is incredibly vital to know how the new college student is doing, especially if assistance is necessary; however, cracking the shell may require time. Trust me. You can watch and listen to nonverbal, but try to avoid the Q & A session on the travels home from campus. They’re with you till January. http://www.getcollegegoing.com/semester-break-check-time/
Check List, Road Trips, and Crunching the Number
High school juniors and their parents have lots to do at this mid-point of the academic year. Consider these:
- Checking academic progress and seeking out extra help in a subject where potential can grow
- Discussing the world of opportunities; thoughts on the post-high school journey
- Sharpening the financing pencil; education savings, need for tuition assistance and credit
- Building, narrowing, and investigating college options, virtually and on the road
Take the Early Planning Quiz
Not to be forgotten, parents of middle school, ninth and tenth grades should be taking the time to begin road testing plans for the future. It is amazing how fast the calendar turns and before you know it, it’s cap and gown time. Are you ready? Take a short quiz.
- Are you saving for college at the pace needed to cover costs?
- What financing strategies – moves might apply to your family now, and in the next six months?
- What post-HS education pathway is your student leaning towards now?
- Is it time to boost academics through tutoring – academic coaching?
- How much is known about tuition assistance, and how it works at the college level?
Take the complete quiz – start here
Managing a Workforce
A lesser-known provision created through the CARES Act signed into law in March 2020 allows an employer to make up to $5,250 in student loan payments for an employee annually. Funds traditionally tied to tuition benefits for new educational courses can now shift in this new direction. Until 2025, funds reallocated to help employees with education loan debt are considered tax-free and excluded from employer payroll tax. So if you’re struggling to hire or retain employees, this might be your differentiator. https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/employer-pay-5-250-annually-190007628.html
Finally, in this season of giving, let’s all make a donation or two to a local non-profit or organization helping our citizens, next door or around the US.