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Category Archives for Affording College

College Tuition Reciprocity Agreements

College Tuition is Expensive

For many families, paying for college in the best way involves taking advantage of a tuition reciprocity agreement.  Tuition will typically cost between $2000 at a community college to upwards of $30,000 at a four-year elite college per semester.  As your family considers ways to affording college, you will want to see if a reciprocity agreement is available for your college-of-choice.

Understanding the College Tuition Reciprocity Agreement

Colleges often charge a higher fee for tuition credits for students who Continue reading

Affording College

“College” is an Expensive Undertaking

The cost of your children’s post-high school education will run, typically, between $5,000 and $65,000 per year / per child. Affording college is not just important for the student, but for the parents as well. For most households, this is a big-ticket item. It comes as no surprise that families are interested in the best way to pay for college. Before one gets into the details of the financial aspectsContinue reading

Last-minute Tips for Paying for College – a Critique and Alternative

Are these “TIPS from the Pros” all they have to offer?

The root cause of the struggles of funding college is exemplified In the article “Last-minute tips for paying for college” by Jessica Dickler. Her article is based on tips from two financial advisors – Richard Polimeni from Merrill Lynch and Liz Miller of Summit Place Financial Advisors, along with Joe DePaulo of College Ave Student Loans and Eric Greenberg of Greenberg Educational Group. From these so-called “Pros” she put together five tips on how to put together a successful college funding strategy – even at the 11th hour.  One would think that these “tips” are provided as “it’s not too late to come up with a few last-minute strategies to ease the burden of the sky-high cost of college.”  Let’s look briefly at each one and provide a bit of context respectively. (Click to view the article.)

1) Fill out a FAFSA – “Cobbling together”

Her point of filling out the FAFSA as a gateway to aid and scholarships for the next semester is absolutely true. Federal student loan funding will be available next semester for your student. There is the interesting phrase “you can cobble together a bunch of these”; this seems to indicate that there is no need to have an over-arching college funding strategy. This “cobbling together” often leads parents and students signing their name on any accessible funding source without understanding the consequences.  In my experience, “cobbling together” is not a valid way towards creating a successful college funding strategy.

2) Take out a Loan – Really?

The first rule of thumb, which seems to be missed in this article, is that loans MUST be paid back. The second rule is that is missed: you sign it, it is yours.  The thought process to Continue reading

How Do I Get Money for College?

College Bills must Paid

Every family with a student in college (post-secondary education) is confronted with their own “cost-of-attendance” expenses. The fact-of-the-matter is, these bills must be paid in a timely manner.  These outlays typically run between $8,000 and $70,000 per child/per year. The question at hand today is not so much where does one get money for college, but that of “how”.  Understanding the dynamics of the “how” is the first step in obtaining money for college.

Scholarship and Grant Funding

Scholarship and grant funding are the two most sought-after financial resources for paying college expenses. Neither of these need to be paid back. Let’s take an abbreviated look at both.

How to get Scholarship Funding for College

Scholarships are awarded based on the meritocracy principle.  The more “talent” the student brings to the college, the more the college will typically reach into their endowment resources to attract the student. We use the word “talent” to refer to the contribution your child would likely make in a certain field or discipline. For example, if this is a math program, then the talent is a “high aptitude in math”. If the program is sports related, then the talent would be “being able to run fast or throw the football with great accuracy”.   Each college or department within a college is looking to attract students they consider to be a “worthwhile investment”.  The more talent your child brings, the more “worthwhile” they are to the department. This attraction or enticement consists, in part, by paying a larger portion of the student’s cost-of-attendance expenses.Continue reading

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