Take the Stress Out of Paying for College

paying for college

What's it really like for a parent to find the resources to send a child to college these days? Bright Horizons President Stephen Kramer recently posed that question to Donna Keating, a Home Depot employee and mother of a college freshman.

Donna attended the Solutions at Work LIVE conference and talked about what it's like, in 2016, to worry about a child's future. "I was very stressed," said Donna. "I'm a single mother and I was very worried about how she was going to go to college." It's no surprise. According to the Wall Street Journal, graduates in 2015 left campuses carrying an average $35,000 in debt, an obligation that promises to follow them far into the future. It's understandable that parents like Donna are not only worried, but also want to help their children minimize the burden. Donna found a counselor through College Coach, a service that helped her research and apply for financial resources that could support her daughter's education beyond her FAFSA grant. "After her grant was finished, where was I going to get additional funds? What was I going to do?" she told Stephen. "Then she would have to stop school." She also learned how to prepare to save for her son's education in the future, and even for her own. Donna says, "It's just been wonderful." "Now I know she can continue her education and live her dream - which is what I want for her."

Many other parents find themselves in the same boat, worrying not just about finances, but also about getting in. Applying to college, getting accepted, and figuring out how to pay for it weigh heavily on the minds of parents with college-bound children - so much so that it's taking away from their focus at work. In fact, on average, these parents spend two hours of work time each week on tasks related to their child's college admissions process, causing an unnecessary drop in employee productivity and engagement, as well as a spike in stress. College Coach, which Donna accessed through her employer, provides parents with expert guidance in areas such as school-age study skills, college admissions, and higher education savings and loan management. Such guidance comes from a team made up of former college admissions and finance officers, through workshops, one-on-one meetings, and an online learning center.

To learn more about how Donna prepared for financially supporting her daughter's college education, watch the full video here.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.