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The Funding Process

the funding process

Before ever getting to this moment, we strongly encourage parents and their students to discuss the various key elements of the college funding process early on to temper expectations and eliminate “surprises” come award letter time.

Parents of a high school student, can begin this conversation during the summer of their junior year and revisit it again 6 months later (or throughout the year if  necessary) to ensure that you are all on the same page.


The issue will become: How are you as a family going to cash flow the out of pocket costs upfront for college? Additionally, it will be important to have a comprehensive plan for the entire family in order to ensure you are allocating resources properly and to avoid overspending, especially with more than one student planning to attend college.

Ask yourselves the following questions before sitting down with your student:

  • What do we expect we can afford to pay for each student for each year?
  • As parents, are we planning on covering all the costs, or is the plan to have the student
  • contribute in any way?
  • In what ways will we need our student to contribute (e.g. Work Study, Loans, etc)
  • What current assets have we saved for college?
  • How much of our cash flow can we contribute to the college plan on a monthly basis?
  • Based on the above, do we have a gap? Meaning: Will the combination of monthly cash flow
  • over the number of years my student(s) will be in college, along with existing assets, cover the annual expenses?Or will there be a shortfall?


If there is a gap, is there a way to create cash flow to close the gap?

  • Review spending patterns looking for areas of waste
  • Stop paying extra on the mortgage
  • Reduce 401k contributions


Look for current expenditures that will go away once the students are in college

Other current savings that can be diverted to college during the college years

If there is still a gap, borrowing will be needed – what borrowing makes the most sense for me?


  • College loans
  • 401k borrowing
  • Home Equity
  • Family Loans


    College Degree Planners
    2213 N. Reynolds Road, Suite 10
    Bryant, AR 72022