Watching your son or daughter graduate from college is a proud moment. There is a lot of hard academic work and good financial planning that lead up to that occasion. It’s been a few years since my children have graduated from college, but I remember planning to pay for tuition and how important it was to have the right tools to help me plan. As a credit union member, you have access to college scholarship opportunities, resources to help you learn how to manage personal finances more efficiently, and access to the Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan Program.
Once your child gets accepted to college, you should first apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible. If your child is a member of Members CU and plans to enroll as a full-time student in an accredited college, he or she is eligible to apply for a Members CU Scholarship. Eligible members who plan to attend college during the 2014-2015 academic year should complete our scholarship application and return it to MCU by March 31, 2014. The scholarship application is available at http://www.memcu.com/forms-tools/, or you can call 800-951-8000, ext 134 to ask to have an application mailed to you.
If your child is younger, start planning to pay for college early. Having a good financial plan for your family that allows you to save money along the way is a good way to set aside funds for tuition. Being a member at Members CU means you have access to valuable financial education resources. Visit memcu.com/financial-solutions to learn about the free educational articles and one-on-one counseling available to members and their families for free. Learn how to set and keep personal financial goals and make saving for college a priority.
When scholarship and grant money has been awarded but you still need to borrow money, consider federal loans. Then fill in any funding gaps left with a responsible private education loan like the Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan. This loan is ideal for families who choose a private student loan to cover the cost of attending college after they have maximized all scholarship, grant and federal loan opportunities. With a Smart Option Loan there are no origination fees for degree-granting institutions, you can earn rewards for paying on time, there is no prepayment penalty, and you can track your repayment progress online 24/7. To get more information or to apply please visit http://www.memcu.com/salliemae/.