OMG — you waited a LONG time to start figuring out finances! That BrightStart account is nice — but $9,000 won’t go a long way if she needs $16,000 per semester!!! That’s $32,000 per year (assuming she gets the same scholarships every year) and my goodness that’s about $125,000 total — ON TOP of her Federal student loans.
What are you thinking? She won’t qualify for any more loans. YOU will have to borrow that money — likely by taking it out of your home equity. I hope this is your ONLY child– because you will be paying for this loan the rest of your lives! And DON’T take out a Parent Plus loan — because with the 4%+ origination fee, they are the most expensive way to borrow. Go to www.Finaid.org to learn more about financing college.
But here’s my best suggestion:
You should be talking to her high school guidance counselor about this issue. Maybe there is another –less expensive — school she could attend for the first two years, and live at home. That would save enough to pay for two years for her to attend — and graduate from — a prestige, expensive school! Given the uncertain nature of college attendance this fall, it would not be a surprising decision. Or your uncertainty about financing could result in even more aid from the college she is planning to attend.
And keep this in mind: Social Security has docked the monthly payments of thousands of retirees who still owe money on student loans — mostly for their CHILDREN’s education! Don’t be one of them!