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…

Continue Reading

What’s College’s Value Given Today’s Prices?

Choosing a college based on price or which campus offers the greatest amount of financial aid can seem like a foreign concept to many families.  However, as tuition continues rising annually and parents face the quandary of balancing saving for retirement and paying for college, at the same time their income seems to be shrinking, families may be facing increasing…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

ACT vs. SAT

Since college admissions officers will consider the highest score of either the SAT or ACT (and in some cases mix and match the highest subsection scores from multiple SAT test dates, aka “Superscoring”), then students often ask me, “Should I take both tests?”   Students are usually trying to determine which test will merit them the highest score, to stay as…

Continue Reading

“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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

The Six Figure Cost of College: In Dollars & Sense

The words, “financial aid,” can send chills down any parent’s spine, as they wonder, “How in the (insert expletive) are they going to pay for college, without going bankrupt?”  Many American families approach college, like other purchases in their lives–dream big and figure out how to pay later.    Parents often believe, “If my kid does his/her job–getting the right…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Financial Aid Reality Check (That Won’t Cost Your Checkbook)

We’re hearing from parents of seniors, who’re looking through their check registers and not seeing $30,000 to $60,000 available for next year’s college expenses, nor in their savings or investments.   Actually, we’re hearing from parents of juniors, parents of sophomores, parents of freshmen and parents of pre-schoolers about the continued rise in costs and how to afford the expenses,…

Continue Reading