7 Strategies to Lower Private College Costs

If given the choice, many students would love to have the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s reputable private schools. In general they offer smaller student to teacher ratios, a more intimate learning experience and the ability to graduate within four years, as opposed to the average of five or six years at a public college.

Private colleges continue to provide considerable institutional aid for good students. Since private colleges receive little or no support from state tax dollars, many private colleges must offer institutional aid to stay competitive with the lower priced state colleges. (more…)

6 Major Sources of Financial Aid

By Guest Blogger: Jodi Okun, Founder of College of Financial Aid Advisors

The cost of financing a child’s college education can be daunting to many families. Generally the family is the source of the primary support; however, financial assistance does exist.

The federal government administers six major financial assistance programs. Three of these programs are direct assistance programs, with the assistance going directly to the student. The other three programs are administered through the college that the student attends and funds are sent directly to the college, which in turn dispenses the money to the student in accordance with federal guidelines. (more…)

College Financial Planning for Middle School Parents

Refining the vision

With kids in middle school and becoming increasingly independent, the family’s financial priorities have likely shifted from the early parenting years. You or your spouse may have reentered the workforce, changed jobs or maybe started a business. Perhaps you bought a larger house, went through a divorce or saw your retirement savings shrink in the market downturn. Meanwhile, your child’s college years are growing ever closer.

Now is the time to review priorities and refine your college savings goals. So, let’s put a price tag on that vision.

Yes, college costs will change by the time your children are ready to enroll. But working toward a poorly defined goal is one of the best ways to produce well-defined stress. (more…)

College Financial Planning for Young Parents

A Six-Figure Investment: First, Figure Out Your Values and Needs.

Then You Can Help Your Kids.

As every parent knows, college isn’t cheap. Tuition plus room and board can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $35,000 a year. Multiply that by four, and add in an average 7% annual tuition increase and it’s easy to see why saving enough for college is one of the biggest concerns of my financial-planning clients.

This task is made doubly challenging by the simultaneous need to save for our own retirements. But it can be done! (more…)

Don’t Call Me A Mean Mom, But … You Shouldn’t Pay The Entire College Bill

You expect your kids to go to college, of course. And if you’re like many parents, you probably expect to foot the bill for a good chunk of that education—or maybe even all of it. After all, isn’t sacrifice what “good parents” do to help their kids get ahead?

I’m going to take a slightly controversial stand here and argue for the importance of having college students shoulder some of the burden of their education. Here’s why: (more…)

Transferring Assets to a 529 Plan

529_planBy now most Americans who are saving and investing to pay for college costs have probably heard that so-called 529 college savings plans allow tax-free distributions for qualified education expenses, potentially making them even more attractive and effective than in the past, when they were only tax deferred. Add that tax benefit to other benefits of 529 plans, including high contribution limits, and many families may want to consider taking advantage of the plans. (more…)