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Success at College Beckons for Parents Who Prepare the Way

Students largely are responsible for their own success at college, whether that means getting a 4.0 GPA, being involved in student government, or learning the skill set that will enable them to land a decent paying job upon graduation.However, many do not consider all the hard work and years of preparation that parents contribute prior to the college admission application process. According to NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company, the earlier parents start planning for their childs education and the more prepared they are for that event, the more successful they may be in helping their child attain the dream of a college education.Be Informed: Apply for Aid EarlyMany parents already are familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that must be completed each year in order to receive federal government aid. Some even may be aware that the deadline to receive funds for the next school year is the end of June. What most may not understand is that they may submit their application as early as Jan. 2 of that same year.Other parents may be under the mistaken notion that they have to wait until after they file their taxes to submit their FAFSA. That is an erroneous assumption that could prove costly when it comes to getting the funds needed for school. Students and their parents simply may ESTIMATE their income on the FAFSA, and if they apply online they only need to update that figure on the governments FAFSA Web site.Abundant Resources AvailableIn addition to applying early for aid, there are many other resources that parents may use to save for school or maximize their college-related expenditures.One of the most profitable ideas, especially if your child is a college-bound high school student, is to research and apply early for FREE scholarships and grants. Students may want to contact their colleges financial aid office for assistance here, or use one of the many online scholarship search engines. The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine has over 42,000 college funding sources comprised of more than 2.4 million individually awarded scholarships valued at over $3.4 billion.Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Tax Advantaged Savings PlansUncle Sam is eager to help students and their parents cover the costs of a college education. Tax credits such as the Hope Credit enable parents to offset the cost of certain college education expenses by allowing them to deduct up to a specific amount for their federal income tax return. For more details, please visit the IRS Web site at: irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=121452,00.html.Maybe your child is not even in junior high school yet. If that is the case, you still have time to accumulate substantial savings beforehand. To help you do it, the federal government set up something called 529 Plans. This program allows parents to save funds in a tax-advantaged plan with the option of engaging in either a prepaid tuition arrangement or setting aside savings for college. To find out more, visit sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm.NextStudent Makes College Funding SimpleWherever you and your family are on the road to planning for college, NextStudent can help. Offering top-notch customer care and personal service, NextStudent has a reputation, benefits and incentives that are tough to beat. When you contact NextStudent, you will be assigned your own personal Education Finance Advisor who will guide you through the college funding process, assist you in formulating the best strategy according to your students particular needs, and answer any questions you may have.NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and it is dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about Student Loans, Private Student Loans and Student Loan Consolidation at NextStudent.com.

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