When a student loses a scholarship

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Q. My daughter is probably going to lose her scholarship, which covers $45,000 a year — almost full tuition. We only saved $50,000 in a 529 plan, and she has two years to go. What should we do? Should we make her go to a cheaper school?
— Panicked

A. Pulling your student from the school she’s called home for two years will be a difficult decision.

It could be a smarter financial move, but life is about more than money.

If there is a less expensive college that gives her the same quality of education and prestigious name recognition, it is worth talking to your child about changing schools, said Roy Williams, president and founder of Prestige Wealth Management in Flemington and Millburn.

“If you feel this might throw her off graduating within a four year time frame or discourage her from completing the degree at all, then it might not be a good idea,” Williams said.

You could look into other scholarship or grant opportunities that could be available through other programs, he said.

If she stays, when you use up the 529 money, you may be eligible for financial aid.

Loans are another possibility, and we respect that you seem to want to avoid that option. It can’t hurt for her to have some skin in the game, and you can always help her repay the loans after she graduates.

Be sure to set an appointment to talk to the school’s financial aid office. Reps should be able to give you a better idea of the aid for which she may qualify, and whether any of the school’s programs could help with the cost.

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This post was first published in March 2017.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.