The days when you will be helping support a college student are coming, ready or not. For some of us, the challenge of having a college student hits next school year. And it is not an easy thing financially. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that tuition, room and board at the average public college or university will cost about $11,600 this year. And for private institutions, plan on about $29,915 per year. So, where does the money come from for college? To a large extent, the answer to that question depends upon your student, your family resources, and how hard you are willing to work to find it. Let's look at some of the key questions, and then we'll explore how to find money for college. Each school's situation is different, and each student will have variables as well while averages as indicated above are between $8,000 and $21,000 per year. The ACT website, brought to you by the people who administer the ACT tests, has an excellent college expense estimator. Investing a few minutes gathering your information will give you a feel for what you can expect. Focus on Academics and Extracurriculars. Your student's academic status in high school is a key determiner.

Finding money for college

A student's grade point average, class standing, standardized test score and extracurricular activities are still the measures for most scholarships for college education despite some claims to the contrary. The higher the GPA and either SAT or ACT score, the more likely an academic scholarship is to be found. So a good place to invest your time is in helping with homework, essays, practice tests and encouraging outside activities. A student’s resources before and at college can help in terms of working a part time job while going to school in addition to this. A good share of college expenses can be earned by them in case your student is willing to work part time during the school year and full time during the summers. Be Realistic About Where To Go To School. Like it or not, every student cannot realistically plan to attend an Ivy League or private school. Consider options for schools that are closer to home, where you might be able to control living expenses.  Consider going to a local college or junior college for a year or two early to keep overall costs lower even in case you have desires to attend a more prestigious institution. The things a dad and/or mom can bring to the cost of college can be significant. These fall into several categories. There are few worries in case a family is fortunate enough to have the money in the bank or a sufficient income to support a college student. But most of us are not blessed with an extra $10,000 to $20,000 a year not needed for other things. But sometimes there are extended family members who would be willing to help.  Occasionally you might have a grandparent or a rich aunt or uncle who are looking for a way to contribute. Don't ignore those possibilities.