College Affordability: Doing More With Less

While college costs have continued rising, median incomes over the same period have not increased at corresponding rates, as we first posted here.  The failure of income to rise at the same pace as college costs increases can place greater pressure on family budgets, potentially restraining college choices.  Thus, families may spend more effort in investigating potential colleges before application than past…

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Losing Sleep Over College Affordability Concerns? You’re Not Alone.

Families attempting to determine college affordability can be subjected to acute bouts of insomnia.  The predicament of framing the pros and cons of each college choice for their children can be, at times, daunting for parents.  Parents face the dilemma of defining the value of a future outcome–a college degree with all of its attendant benefits–which must be paid in…

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What is Financial Aid?

After talking with 200 parents and students yesterday evening at a local Sacramento area College Fair about financial aid, I wanted to offer additional advice, as families continue working to fund rising college expenses. Then, the general sense of nervous anticipation about the expense of college amongst last night’s group can be used to fuel each family’s planning efforts. Financial…

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College Admissions Can Seemingly Provoke More Questions Than Answers

Questions abound when parents and students are moving through the college admissions process, especially when everyone has a story to tell about who got in where and the media reports the falling admit rates at selective universities around the country, as well as annually rising college tuition and increasing average student loan amounts.   A recent presentation with parents at…

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Salary: Only One Measure of A College’s Worth

“To get a good job,” is an oft heard reason why a student is headed to college, usually stated while their parents nod vigorously in the background.  A recent New York Times article–New Metric for Colleges: Graduates’ Salaries–discusses the merits of using a college graduate’s average earnings as a measure of a campus’ value, which is further illuminated with our…

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Private Universities May Not Cost More Than A Public University, In the Final Analysis

Dismissing a college based only on cost, as many families tend to do when considering private universities, may overlook a valuable choice for an individual student.  The following podcast discusses how to “value” a public university in relation to a private university, as well as offers tips for planning for future college expenses. For more on college selection, see our…

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Paying for College vs. Saving for Retirement, Round 1

Worries about paying for rising college costs can be compounded by concerns over saving for retirement.  As seen in the chart below, with average retirement savings of people aged 45-54, the general age range of parents with college-aged children, at $10,100, can explain parents’ concerns.   The Baby Boomer group just ahead in age (55-64) has only accumulated $2000 more,…

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Paying for Childhood: Average Cost of Raising Children

Wondering how your parents were able to raise multiple kids (and none of you felt deprived) on a single income back in the day?  A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates families with children born in 2012 will spend an average of $241,080 in the next 18 years to raise their offspring–NOT including the costs of college.…

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