via Jamaica Gleaner
Sagicor Bank recently hosted its first virtual financial enrichment seminar which featured several professionals in the education sector, as well as experienced Sagicor Bank team members, to guide parents on how best to prepare for their children’s education. The seminar’s topic was ‘Financing Your Child’s Educational Dreams’.
Speaking at the forum, Natalee Wedderburn, business development manager at Sagicor Bank, encouraged parents to start saving for their children’s education from as early as possible. She pointed out that early preparedness not only limits the stress of the financial burden but also proves beneficial for children and families in the long run.
Noting that the financing of a child’s education is an ongoing challenge for many parents, Wedderburn said: “When you start saving early, you have a longer period to accumulate a substantial deposit from compounded interest earnings. Saving is also an important habit to develop in our children as it can help them in the long run with their financial management.”
Wedderburn’s sentiments were echoed by assistant registrar at The University of the West Indies, Marjorie Bolero-Haughton, who also highlighted the importance of savings to fund a child’s education, especially at the tertiary level. Bolero-Haughton shared that in her experience, parents who implemented a savings plan for their children’s education from early are usually better prepared financially when the time comes for the child to matriculate at a university.
DEVELOP A WORTHY SCHOLARSHIP PROFILE
“As parents, you have two roles: you are your child’s champion, meaning you are supposed to encourage and support them, and you should also be there to help them prepare financially for that phase of their life when it’s time for tertiary education,” she said.
Nicole McLaren Campbell, founder, AIM Educational Services, spoke to the various scholarship opportunities that exist and how students can benefit from getting assistance to finance their tertiary education. AIM is an education consultancy firm that provides undergraduate placement services to college applicants.
The experienced education consultant encouraged parents to develop, along with their children, a strategy for creating what she described as a worthy scholarship profile at an early stage of their secondary schooling. The profile that she encouraged includes the children not only having an exceptional academic record, but also demonstrates that they have a positive impact in their community, as well as in extracurricular activities.
McLaren commented that over the years, she has successfully helped many students to secure hundreds of thousands of funding in scholarships from international universities. She went on to advise parents that: “It is just about pushing our children in the areas of their interest and encouraging them to be their very best self; because that is what will attract the scholarships.”
The University of Technology, Jamaica, student recruitment director, Kerry-Ann White, also shared her insights on the funding of a child’s education. She noted that parents and children should always conduct ample research before selecting an institution, to ensure that the school meets their expectations in the areas of course content, tuition cost, and support services provided for students.
Sagicor Bank last year launched its Star Savers account product – a deposit account aimed at encouraging savings among children. The prime objective of the Star Savings account is to increase the level of savings among children and teach them about financial responsibility from an early age.