Earlier this month, The DEC Network presented it’s annual program to the Ridgefield community on Applying to and Paying for College:  The Right Academic and Financial Match.  During our talk with parents and students, I recommended a very critical first step: sit down together at the kitchen table (or at the local Baskin Robbins!) and have a candid discussion about education goals and payment expectations. Students, don’t be shy about expressing your dreams and parents, don’t be hesitant about reviewing your financing strategy. This candid discussion allows everyone to be on the same page. Students are aware of what type of monetary contribution, if any, they will need to make to support their education and parents are aware of the type of education their child is seeking. The focus should not be short term; rather, families should establish a strategy that covers an educational path which may include all or a portion of undergraduate, internship, certificate, international, and/or graduate study. Now more than ever, an open dialogue sets the stage for careful planning within a highly complex economic environment.

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