Education Planning & Tuition Assistance
How FINDcures Can Help
Perhaps the single most pressing issue that weighs on an individual’s mind regarding education is how to pay for it. If the individual has a neurological disease, the pressures of finances become even more intensified and can become overwhelming.
Some families have financial resources available that can help mitigate the pressures that accompany education planning for themselves and their children. For those who do not, FINDcures can be a resource of needed guidance and, in some unique cases, a source of funding.
When you contact FINDcures for the first time, we begin assessing your needs and match them up with the services provided within our “Perimeter of Hope”. Depending on your unique situation, a team of professionals is assembled to assist you. As it relates to Education Planning and Tuition Assistance, we will assign a professional career and/or education planner to be on your team. This resource will provide you with the information and guidance needed so that you and your family can properly plan to meet your education goals and objectives. Whether your goal is to improve the education of the head of household or to plan for the education of your children, FINDcures is here to help.
When a neurodegenerative disease strikes an individual, it impacts the entire family. If the individual happens to be the sole provider in the household, the financial burden can be enormous. Bills mount quickly, healthcare costs go up, and the specter of possible unemployment can wreak havoc on the economic peace of mind of the family.
The Importance of Education
The level of education that a family’s provider has is very important. Job security is a top priority, second only to the health and well-being of the individual diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease. For years, statistics have shown that higher education translates to higher earnings and more secure employment. There is a direct correlation between the level of education a person has and the potential of unemployment. The chart below from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), shows that the higher the level of education that a person possesses, the lower their chance of becoming unemployed.
As you can see from the data provided above, an Associate degree is no longer considered a step up in today’s competitive workplace. In fact, a person with trade school training has a slightly better chance of being employed than a person with just an Associate degree.
Making higher education a life-long pursuit must become a priority for the 21st century family. Primary and secondary bread-winners should be continually looking for opportunities to improve their skills and training. When family members increase their commitment to pursue a formal education, they consequently improve their chances of increasing their income, which can in turn be used to support their loved ones.
If you have already received a Bachelor degree, that’s great! It definitely helps. However, in today’s employment marketplace it may be necessary to pursue a graduate degree in order to remain competitive. Pursuing a Master’s Degree, MBA, JD or PhD is expensive and a major time commitment. Choose carefully before you make a choice. Remember first to find a career that suits your skill sets and will support your intrinsic values. You may be spending a third of your life in the selection you make, be sure it’s something you enjoy doing. What you choose to do should be weighted more heavily than where you want to attend.
Planning for Your Children’s Education
Providing our children with a secure and thriving lifestyle is part of the American Dream. Parents naturally want their children to have a better life than they did. For many families, the goal of having their children obtain a college education is an important objective. However, it is a long-term investment and requires careful planning. When the challenges associated with a neurological disease are present, the importance of proper planning cannot be over emphasized. If a child has a neurodegenerative disease, parents need to be alert to any barriers to their education that may exist.
A child’s individual academic achievement, although important, is only part of the education planning picture. Finding a school that will meet the child’s educational objectives, and at the same time be compatible with their spiritual customs, and social expectations, are important to ensure a good overall fit. We are blessed in this country to have a plethora of educational choices; from two-year community and junior colleges, to four-year colleges and universities, to technical, vocational, and trade schools. Take the time to thoroughly vet each institution and the benefits of attending each one. FINDcures can assist you in this endeavor as well.
The Importance of Career Choice
Career research is an essential part in selecting which school to attend. It will enable you to discover important economic and employment trends. Growth and income projections of the student’s areas of interest need to be considered.
When doing career research some questions that you may want to consider are:
- What do people in this career do on the job?
- What types of knowledge, skills, and abilities are required for this career?
- What level of education typically required?
- What is the average annual salary of someone in this field?
- Where are the most likely locations that someone in this field would live?
- What is the expected demand for this career in the future?
Answers to these questions and others will help in determining how much student loan debt is reasonable to take on and thereby better position yourself to provide more effectively for your loved ones.
If you happen to choose a field that touches one of the eight diseases we target here at FINDcures, we want to hear from you. A grant with your name on it could be waiting for you if you meet our established requirements.
The Cost and Net Price
An important factor to consider when selecting which school to attend is cost. The hurdle of cost needs to be overcome and most families do not have the resources to pay for it themselves. Costs can vary significantly from school to school. While the cost of college includes tuition and fees, it also includes equipment, travel, housing and more. Many different funding options exist and you need to carefully consider each in order to select those that will work best in your situation and put you on the path to success.
You’ll want to make sure that the cost of the school is reasonable compared to the earning potential of your selected future career. In other words, you want to make sure that you can earn enough money to cover any student loan payments you may need to make, along with living expenses, after you graduate.
If you are like the vast majority of families in the U.S., you will need to avail yourself of federal student aid programs. It is important that you confirm the accreditation of your prospective schools to ensure that they participate in those programs.
Any school that participates in the federal student aid programs is required to provide information on its cost of attendance and to offer a net price calculator on its website. This calculator will give you an idea of how much a program may cost after subtracting any financial aid. The average net price to attend the school is determined by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance for the institution’s largest program.