Saving Money for College: Gifts

Saving Money for College Scholarships GIFTS at SkipperClan

Do you remember the pace of change your child experienced from birth to age 3? Look at those newborn photos with the tiniest toes, wrinkled skin, and your little one completely dependent upon you for survival. By age 3, they can have enough conversation with you to try to convince you they can do everything their way, thank you very much!

Moms Baby Dress on KitKat2

I think the years from high school junior to college freshman involve the same level of change.

The traditions of Senior Year activities in high school are not just a celebration of completing the completion of a basic education, but a celebration of the beginning of the adult years. Many families celebrate a child’s high school graduation with a party and gifts. Our family did just this for each of our children, not only to celebrate their accomplishments, but also to celebrate our efforts in raising the young adults they had become.

homecoming at SkipperClan

I am a firm believer that despite the importance of post-secondary education {whether college, trade school, or other specialized program}, graduating high school is still worthy of this traditional celebration. With all the parties and events, the last thing your high school senior may want to think about in the last few months of the school year is saving money.

If your teenager is blessed enough to receive monetary gifts during this celebratory season, they may feel like they have hit the lottery. Show them the importance of saving money for college with gifts by setting aside a separate account for those gifts and depositing them all.

Once the school has been selected and scholarship notices have been received, use that account to cover remaining expenses. If all direct college expenses are funded, begin using this account for a ‘sinking fund’ for future college costs. If a scholarship program ends, a certification exam is needed, or a study abroad is desired, this account can provide for those unplanned items.

Your child may receive a small amount and it could pay for books for their first semester. Your child may receive a significant amount and instead of using it for summer travel, a new car, or wardrobe – these gifts could actually pay for a semester or more of college expenses.

If you or your child were to obtain loans, you would be using someone else’s money to fund their education while committing to payments and interest. By using the gift funds, you are using someone else’s money to fund their education interest free.

Did you receive financial gifts at your high school graduation? What did you use that money for?

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