This subject of paying for a child's college education is a popular topic among lawyer's conversations at cocktail and holiday parties.
Thus, I thought I would provide input on some ideas I believe from a strategic point of view could be helpful for any parent facing this situation of paying for a son's or daughter's education.
Lawyers are trained researchers because in law school and with our every day legal matters we research treatises, cases and statutes for the current state of the law and legal precedent.
Hence, we lawyers have the ability to research the best and most economical way to pay for a child's education without breaking the piggy bank or plundering your retirement savings.
I have some suggestions on this topic.
If your child is in high school and about to start applying for colleges he or she should have at least an inkling of what career to pursue and what she wants to do.
I say inkling because most children at age 17 do not know how to research a career goal and unfortunately parents hope and pray their child will magically figure it out on their own. That philosophy seldom works and it is incumbent on parents to guide and direct the child by doing the proper career research before selecting a college.
If the child knows what career they want, look at colleges that offer this career choice. Make a list of the colleges. This list could include 3 more expensive colleges and 3 less expensive colleges. This way you know the exact cost and value of each college and what you get for what you pay.
Research what each college offers via scholarship or grant funds and what financial programs your child would be eligible to receive.
Community colleges and state schools most likely will offer the same career program that the more expensive schools offer, at a fraction of the cost. I am a big advocate of community colleges. They have tremendous programs and the cost is minimal. After two years at a community college your child can go on to full time college and save a ton of money. Also, most community colleges have two year certificate programs where your child can get certified for a particular career and start working once the program is complete.
One of the best guides to help your child choose a career is the Occupational Handbook published by the US Department of Labor since 1948. This handbook is available online. From A-Z mostly every career known to mankind is listed, along with the criteria for each career, salary for each career and job outlook as to whether the respective field is growing or is in decline.
A second great resource for parents to help their children with a definitive career choice is the famous book "What Color is your Parachute" written by Richard Bolles. With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries the world's most popular job search book has been recently updated for 2019 and has been published for over 40 years. This book will give your child a big head start on his or her job choice and is invaluable.
With a little planning and research lawyers or any parent can greatly affect their child's future by helping them pick the right college and getting them started on a rewarding career path. If you plan it right through proper research you won't break the family piggy bank or plunder your retirement savings.
Attorney Lauren Winer Beck
Your Connecticut Go TO Mass Tort Attorney
Check my website at winerbecklaw.com