What About the Money?

One obstacle in athletic recruitment is the challenge of money. Money flows into and throughout this process; lots of money. As is its nature – money complicates and corrupts everything it touches. It is the source of rules, the instigator of process, the initiator of pressure, and the root of salesmanship. Furthermore, college costs are continuing to rise creating an unprecedented college loan debt crisis. Student loans represent a staggering 1.2 trillion dollar debt load in the United States with no end in sight.

So how do you avoid debt and identify the best possible combination of athletic and academic fit for your child? Wise parents seek help in navigating the “whitewater” of recruitment. They plan in advance, seek to understand the process, learn to access scholarship opportunities, and draft solid financial plans.

Tip 1: Consult a trusted financial adviser. You might pay a little for their service. It’s worth it. College planning is not simple – there are tax and debt considerations as well as changing revenue requirements each year. Multiple kids? Multiple problems. Get professional help – have a plan.

Tip 2: Share the responsibility with your child. Statistics suggest that students are significantly less likely to fail classes for which they help pay.  Mom and Dad’s money is never equal to your own money. Find a compromise and share the responsibility – results will improve. Some parents have their students pay for a semester and then reimburse for appropriate grades (A = complete reimbursement, B = 80% reimbursement, etc). A college education is a privilege – don’t let kids perceive it otherwise.

Tip 3: Ensure your child earns the appropriate degree in 4 years. College is a very expensive place to “find yourself”. If your child doesn’t know what they want to study – send them to Community College. If they need help figuring out their major, consult a counselor or use a “skill & career interest” consultant to figure it out. Such consultants may cost up to $1000 to run the complete battery of tests on your child, but this is chump change compared to what an extra semester (bad) or a complete college transfer (worse) will cost. Your child’s major is important. Invest time in determining the most likely fit & identify colleges that will support it within your cost limits and your child’s intellectual boundaries.

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