One of the great things about being a parent is that we (sometimes) have the benefit of learning from how we were parented and we get to choose what we want to do the same and what we want to do differently with our own children. No shade to our parents- they did the best they knew how under the circumstances. My mom’s mom (my grandmother) knew less about college and finances than my mom did. For me, I didn’t want my son to know the burden of student loan debt; I didn’t want him to be well into adulthood and having to grapple with loans that have tripled and forbearance and dodging student loan lenders. Real talk. So, when we began to have conversations about going to college, we also had conversations about financing his college education. For me, it was important that my son understand that we were equal partners in locating as much FREE money as we could for his full education and not just for his first year, but for every year he was in college. I know a lot of us spend that first year hustling for college monies and then we drop off the following years on our hustle and end up just signing for parent plus loans and such. I really wanted to avoid that trap with my son and for me, the way to do that was to emphasize partnership hustle for finding FREE money every year; it was both of our responsibility.
Someone once said, “A dream is just a dream without a plan.” Every dream, even the so-called American dream, costs money. Dreams begin in our imagination and then begin to take root once we speak them out loud. As we begin to imagine our kids going to college in pursuit of a better life, let us also speak out loud a financial plan for financing their and our dream.