Paying for College? Read This Book.

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“Paying for College Without Going Broke”

Starting to fret and break a sweat about paying for college? You are in good company. With the economy still flat and the cost of tuition on the rise, most of us are stressing. Adding to our stress is the inaction of the Congress to keep student loan interest rates low. More and more, affording college, especially a private one, is feeling out of reach for the average US family.

Here’s hoping you are reading this and your oldest child is in 8th grade! If so, you are in good shape if you start your homework NOW! However, if you have a sophomore or junior, don’t worry – there is still time to take action. No matter what the age of your college bound child, I highly recommend “Paying for College Without Going Broke,” by Kalman Chaney and Geoff Martz. This guide (which is revised annually to keep up with tax code changes), is a must read for anyone planning to pay for a college education, be they rich, poor, or somewhere in between.

Using straightforward talk and a step by step format, this book will:

  • Calculate the actual costs of college
  • Help you avoid costly mistakes
  • Help you compare FA offers
  • Help you plan and maximize your eligibility
  • Guide divorced and separated parents
  • Guide independent students

With the book’s long and short term strategies for receiving more financial aid, you will learn how the FA process works and what mistakes to avoid. The authors go into significant detail on what types of debt are considered “legitimate” and why. Your car loan, for example, is not considered a legitimate debt, but your mortgage is learn this here now. Understanding which assets count and which do not will help your family determine affordability and may influence where your child decides to apply.

Now, with a four year degree costing anywhere from 100K to nearly 250K (if your kid is on the 5 year plan at a private school!), planning ahead is essential. Figuring out the best fit school for your student can help prevent transferring and therefore save money on coursework and lost credits. Discovering how to maximize savings and increase your eligibility for aid and scholarships can save you thousands of dollars. Some college admission counselors, such as myself, help families fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the “Profile” forms requested by some schools and help take the stress out completing the often burdensome process.

So, read the book, take action, and hire a college admissions planner. You’ll be so glad you did!

(By the way, I have no connection to the authors or publisher of the book recommended above.)

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