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The Price You Pay for College

The Price You Pay for College

September 28, 2021

The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Roadmap for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make

Sending your kids off to college is a journey fraught with difficult emotions. One of the most significant stressors for this time in a parent's life is how to pay for college. Rob Lieber's book "The Price you Pay for College – An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make" offers a unique solution for families struggling with the decision.

The Price You Pay for College

Many colleges advertise a full "retail" price, but that is not the actual cost most students and parents will pay. The key is looking for "merit-based" financial aid solutions that work with families to reduce the price of a college education to a figure the families are willing to pay and can afford.

Unfortunately, the return on investment (ROI) of a college education is difficult to quantify. It depends on so many factors. However, Lieber's book makes an excellent point that a family with a naturally affluent network can make all the difference after graduation. A child with connections will have an easier time finding work after earning their degree. In contrast, a child of a less influential family may need to attend a big-name school to open the right doors for their chosen career path.

How to Select the Best College for Your Child

When choosing the best school for your child, be careful about college rankings. These can be misleading and reflect popular papers written by college professors or the types of grants the college receives rather than the quality of the education and prestige of the staff. Instead, look for a school with a focus on the classroom experience, engagement with students, and mentorship. Some smaller colleges have a better overall reputation for mentoring and successfully engaging with students and might be a better fit for your child.

Make School More Affordable

The average cost of a four-year college is $100,000. That figure can triple for elite private schools. There are some ways to make the cost of college more affordable. Some parents urge their kids to attend a community college first and then transfer. However, the truth is, rarely does a child move up to a 4-year school if they start that way. A better solution is a gap year that allows children to mature and then follow through by attending a four-year college. Kids who take a year off in between high school and college often do really well in college.

Obtaining financing to pay for college can be a minefield that leads to long-term burdens for both parents and students for years to come. So, when your kids are young, decide on a college budget and stick to it. For help planning for your kids' college education, contact us. We are about so much more than just building wealth. We are committed to helping you enjoy all phases of your life.