This prom season high school girls will spend weeks struggling to find the perfect dress – will it be gold metallic, ravishing red, bright white or the hottest color? The dress is just the beginning.
Prom costs for girls also include the perfect shoes, jewelry, a salon visit and a boutonniere. Expenses for boys can include tuxedo, accessories, shoes, vests, ties, hair, prom tickets, dinner, corsage, photographs and transportation.
LSU AgCenter family economist
The online survey of more than 500 high school seniors aged 17-18 who plan to go to college also determined that girls will pay approximately
Two weeks spent planning for the prom is significant; however, when it comes to college, nearly half of the high school seniors surveyed spent five or fewer hours learning how to pay for a four year degree, Tucker said.
Tucker and Sallie Mae offer the following tips and resources as the Class of 2013 prepares for college:
– Ask for the gift of education. A picture frame or electronic gadget can be great, but the gift of education can last a lifetime. Loved ones can give financial gifts directed to eligible college savings funds including 529 college saving plans.
– It's not too late to apply for federal grants. Even though some deadlines have passed, students can still complete the Free Application for
– Make summer count. Get work experience and extra funds with a summer job. If you can't find one right away, offer your services as a volunteer.
– Familiarize yourself with the financial aid office where you'll be going to school. Talk to the campus financial aid officer, especially if family finances have changed since financial aid forms were submitted.
– Be smart about student loans. If you need to borrow, explore federal student loans first and fill the gap with responsible private loans. Borrow only what you need.
– Make a plan. Be sure to have a plan to pay for an entire degree – not just one year at a time.
After students have investigated and made plans for their college costs, Tucker suggested they find ways to save money on prom costs. Some tips include:
– Plan ahead.
– Sit down with your parents and your date to determine a reasonable amount to spend.
– Discuss overall costs and who pays for each item.
– Carpool with other couples and split the transportation costs.
– Borrow a dress, rent one from a formalwear store or buy from a consignment clothing shop.
– Do your own hair and makeup or save money with an appointment at a local cosmetology school instead of an expensive salon.
– Use accessories you already have or borrow from a friend or family member.
– Consider a formal dinner with friends at home rather than dining out.
– Ask a friend or family member to take photos to capture the memory.
Attending the prom doesn't have to cost a fortune – and neither does college. Consider budgeting for these events as valuable financial planning opportunities.
With appropriate budgets, Tucker said, prom-goers can still experience memorable events at the prom and throughout their college years.
TNS 23SQ 130410-4288412 StaffFurigay
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|Source:||Targeted News Service|