uPLAN College Planning Strategies
Family financial preparation for life after high school
Whether you're a parent or guardian footing the bill, or a college-bound student unsure of your major, planning the financial and career aspects of going to college can be scary and overwhelming. From parents' fears of dwindling retirement funds to students' concerns of where to apply – we're here to help.
5 Core Principles of a Wise College Parent
Help your student navigate college without compromising your retirement
We want you, as parents, to be prepared in advance with the financial know-how to navigate the costs of college without putting your retirement at risk. We also want your student to be equipped to participate as an active decision-maker in the process. Our approach to college planning can help you meet the challenge through five core principles.
Engage your student in the financial process
Be wise with debt
Understand your roles
Protect your family against setbacks
Guiding families: students & parents
Attending a workshop with other parents and students in similar circumstances can be reassuring. In our workshop, we educate families about the financial aid system, how it may impact their ability to pay college costs, and how to plan accordingly to help their student attend the right college at the right price.
And, because no products or services are sold at our workshops, you can be confident that we have your best interest in mind.
Calm your fears about paying for college
All of Thrivent Financial's uPLAN College Planning Specialists are specially trained in academics, admissions and college financials. They'll work with you to sort through the college planning process and help you address and understand the best options for you and your family. With guidance from one of our specialists, you'll learn tips and skills such as:
- How parents and students can effectively talk about educational finances.
- How to navigate admissions, get the most out of your financial aid package and make the most of the guidance resources available at your high school.
- Why and how FAFSA results can affect financial aid.
- How to identify which colleges may have lower out-of-pocket costs.
Host a small-group college planning workshop
Want to host a college planning dinner party in your home or with a small group? Contact us to set up a "Cottage Workshop." You bring a few college-bound friends and we’ll bring the information and pizza.
Partnering with schools & organizations
A sound college strategy relies on solid academic preparation, a well-executed admissions strategy and an understanding of one's financial resources as far in advance as possible. The uPLAN College Planning Program works to reinforce the positive academic and admissions support parents and schools already provide students.
College planning support & guidance
Working with your organization or school, we offer our complete uPLAN College Planning Program. Whether you need additional support in this area or want to provide the most comprehensive college planning information possible, partnering with us can help you thoroughly prepare students for life after high school.
The uPLAN College Planning Program offers:
- Naviance tool suite.
- College planning expertise with relatively low cost and minimal effort.
- Complete workshop materials and attendee packets.
- On-site workshops to assist and support current guidance programs.
Hold a uPLAN workshop at your school or organization
Contact us to set up a workshop for your college-bound families.
Providing tools & resources
We provide a network of college planning tools and resources to help students achieve their goals. From worksheets and workshops to helpful links and free Naviance access, our program ensures students – and their families – have what they need to succeed.
It's no secret that doing homework isn't always fun, but it is vital to achieve academic success. As a college-bound student, it’s even more important to do your college planning homework. Doing so can help make college more affordable.
Here are some great resources to help you plan ahead and learn more about college funding options:
- Thrivent College Savings Calculator
- IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education (PDF)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): Paying for College
Getting started with Naviance
The Naviance tool suite is one of the most helpful and most widely used resources we offer. It's a comprehensive academic and career program that helps guide college-bound students on a personal path to success.
Some beneficial features of Naviance include:
- Personality and learning style assessments
- Career and college comparison tools
- Collaboration with Roadtrip Nation
Check out these videos to learn more about Naviance and find out how to effectively navigate and make the most of the tools it offers.
"As the college/scholarship counselor of a local high school … I've found the [uPLAN] presentations to parents and students engaging, informative and professional. I believe the offer to initially meet with families with no financial commitment provides much needed guidance and support, ultimately helping my students attend college with less debt and headache."*
* The participant's experience may not be the same as other participants' and does not indicate future performance or success.
1 Source: salliemae.com/research/how-america-pays-for-college, 2016
Thrivent Financial is not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or Sallie Mae.
This event is for educational purposes only. No plan-specific benefits or details will be shared.
If you should encounter problems while visiting a site listed under the "Getting started with Naviance" section, please use its respective "Contact Us" feature. We cannot provide technical help for non-Thrivent Financial websites. All resources and tools linked to this site have been used with the permission of the originator.