Will College Price Itself Out of Its Demand?

As the price of tuition continues rising, will students (and their families) choose to forgo a college education?  The most recent college application cycle for Fall 2013 doesn’t seem to indicate that students are not choosing a college education.  Applicant numbers are up around the country from a 10.7% increase for the University of California system to 16% increase for…

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What’s The Value of a University of California Education?

Roughly 30 percent of every dollar we take in from tuition we reinvest back in financial aid. So the nominal tuition is $12,000 but the real tuition is probably about $8500. It’s like the sticker price on an automobile: 62 percent of our students don’t pay the sticker price, [which is] income adjusted. But it’s still a problem, and particularly…

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What Does College Tuition Really Buy?

Harper’s Magazine reported in November 2012: 81% of Americans who viewed college as a good financial investment in 2008 dropped to 57% in August 2012.  Now, there’s much room for interpretation of “good”–however, is the change in the average value of a college degree indicating a shift away from college, and if so, what experience is going to replace the…

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College Degree: Gateway to Middle Class Prosperity or Financial Burden?

While many students and their families pursue a 4 year college degree for the imagined financial security and solid middle class living, the cost(s), both to pay for the degree and the long term effects of earning the degree, may be greater than the return.  Generations have been raised to expect that their standard of living can and will surpass…

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College (Un)Affordability: Real, Perceived or A Little of Both?

We’ve been hearing questions from increasing numbers of families about paying for college, as we also posted earlier.  Many of the families asking questions are professionals, college educated, with two incomes and making the same dollar figure of salary as past years, but find these same dollars aren’t stretching as far as in the past. The chart below may shed…

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“I Got In. Now, How Do We Pay for College?”

“How do I pay for college?” is an often heard question from Senior parents at this time of the year.   As college acceptances and financial aid award letters arrive, the reality of an imminent, multi-thousands of dollars per year over multiple years expense may be blossoming in the consciousness of families, especially when a commitment to enroll needs to…

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Dialogue: A Key to Affording Rising College Costs

Parents fret over the costs of college; so do students.  However, each party’s reactions to concerns over the multi-thousands of dollars per year costs of college can differ.   The degree of challenge in working together to pay for a college experience can depend on the family’s communication patterns, which may determine the ability to bridge any possible differences in…

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Need Based Financial Aid Explained

Paying for college can sometimes be a separate worry from concerns about admissions.  Often, parents ask us nervously about how to afford college, as well as the family’s chances of actually qualifying for any financial aid. I find that parents are most concerned about need based aid, given the family’s income and asset values. The following podcast is a short…

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Guest Post: The Savings for College Challenge, Part 4 – Saving for College vs. Saving for Retirement

About the authors: For over 25 years, Cynthia S. Meyers, CFP®, MBA, has assisted people with their Lifetime Financial Planning–helping to build and preserve wealth in every area of life.  Jenny Hood, CFP® has been a paraplanner with Cynthia S. Meyers for five years and enjoys being a part of the financial planning process.   ____________________________________ In our last three blogs…

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Affording College Expenses = Planning, Planning and More Planning

Many families believe their income is too high to qualify for any financial aid, so begin making alternative plans to pay for college, and don’t complete the required forms to apply for financial aid–including the FAFSA.  Regardless of the family’s perception or stories they’ve heard about other people’s experiences, always fill out the FAFSA.  Let the college tell you that…

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Wrapping Your Arms Around College Costs

Parents often remark that they don’t want money to define their child’s choices for college, and then proceed to ask me questions about financial aid and scholarships.  The sense of an impending expense in the thousands of dollars can make any normal human being nervous.  Teens can often react with guilt and fear, that they are potentially asking for the…

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Applying for Free Money (i.e. Financial Aid)

The process to apply for college financial aid requires families to complete several forms.  Below is a list of the forms needed to complete the financial aid application process: 2011 Tax Returns? Check. FAFSA (aka Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?  Check. CSS/PROFILE?  Wait a minute…What’s that? 2012 Tax Returns, done?  Excuse me, why do I need to have my…

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Guest Post: The Savings for College Challenge, Part Three – How Much to Save in a 529

About the authors: For over 25 years, Cynthia S. Meyers, CFP®, MBA, has assisted people with their Lifetime Financial Planning–helping to build and preserve wealth in every area of life.  Jenny Hood, CFP® has been a paraplanner with Cynthia S. Meyers for five years and enjoys being a part of the financial planning process.   _____________ After comparing and choosing a…

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Transfer Admissions from a California Community College: Bargain or Cost?

Several changes to California Community College policies in the current 2012-13 school year may affect the typical transfer student who chooses community college, by extending the total number of semesters before transfer to a 4 year university. The typical transfer student is usually qualified for 4 year college admissions, yet “doesn’t know what s/he wants to do”–in other words, doesn’t…

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