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The College Search: Great Tips for Saving Money

The College Search: Great Tips for Saving Money

Scripps Howard News Service

College may seem a long way away to high school seniors who are focused on that next big test or big football game. But the time to think about choosing and paying for college is now. Some early-admissions and scholarship deadlines are right around the corner, if they haven’t passed already.

That’s not to say that students without a college pick are in big trouble. But college-bound seniors and their parents should act on the following advice from those in the know sooner rather than later .

Study money

Parents have about nine months to teach their future freshmen how to budget. Karen Heimdahl, a financial counselor with Lutheran Social Services who counsels college students, suggests that parents let their children in on the family bill-paying and budgeting. “A lot of the problem is that parents don’t budget themselves,” she said.

As for handing a credit card to a teenager? Heimdahl says it depends on the maturity level of the teen and the level of parental commitment. Credit know-how doesn’t come with the card. It takes a responsible adult to teach the basics of interest rates and fees. But if teens aren’t taught before leaving the nest, when will they learn, and who will teach them?

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