By Lucas Minor, Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program
March 21, 2016
At least once a year I question my sanity in choosing to live in a place that requires scuba gear just to make it to work in the winter time. In case anyone was wondering, the rumors are true. It really does rain in the Pacific Northwest…A LOT. Here in Olympia, we have about 1 and a half seasons – lots of rain for a long time, and a little bit less rain a little bit of the time. But that’s okay, because that means the start of spring is just that much sweeter. At the risk of sounding cliché, the beginning of spring marks a turning point, where the world is again blossoming with hope and optimism. In this spirit, I thought it would be helpful to share a few reminders of the great things spring has to offer when it comes to helping your children along on their academic journeys.
Help your kids finish out the school year strong
The springtime sunshine is a perfect metaphor for the light that your kids are probably starting to see at the end of the school year tunnel. While the waning days of the school year can be a distracting time for kids, it’s important to help them stay focused and finish the year in style. One thing to keep in mind is that while it’s important to consider what the future holds for your child, do not get too hung up on needing to figure it all out now. All children take different paths to becoming the responsible, successful adults that they will one day become, so it’s important to not rush or force the direction of their development.
Take the kids on a college visit
Whether your child is a high school junior starting to shop for colleges, or is still in grade school, springtime is a great time to plan a college visit. The nicer weather brings more people outside and campuses are bustling with activity. A college visit is important for students of all ages, as it can get them excited about the idea of attending college, and it is a vital step for older students in narrowing their college search. The College Board has some great tips for planning a college campus visit.
And…You guessed it…reinvigorate your savings efforts!
Since we are all about planning ahead and saving for college here at CSPN, I just couldn’t resist reinforcing the importance of this crucial step. No matter how old your children are, it’s never too early or too late to start saving, and no amount that you put away is too big or too small. The important part is to make a plan, stick to it, and make adjustments as you go. If you haven’t yet started saving for college, spring is a great time to start. Or, if you’re already contributing to a 529 plan, now is also a great time to ramp up your efforts. If you’re expecting a tax return, for instance, it could make a great boost for your college savings.
I wish you all a happy spring, and hope that you get a chance to recharge and reframe your perspective. Challenge yourself and your family to try something new and keep looking ahead with hope and optimism.
About the Author:
Lucas Minor is the Associate Director for Marketing and Communications at Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. The GET program has grown from 7,900 to over 130,000 accounts, with a fund valued at $2.4 billion. Washington is unique in that, currently, their only 529 plan offered is a prepaid tuition plan.