We have talked about money and how to pay for college any number
of times, but we thought we would try to pull it all together in
this episode. Here are your notes for the episode (but you
should tune in to get the full explanation for each of these 17
- Have the “money talk” with your child—what you can afford, what
you are willing to pay, and what your child might need to do to
- Use a 529 college savings plan to put money aside (the sooner,
- Start the college search early so you can save time and money
by eliminating colleges that aren’t a good fit for your child.
- Don’t rely on guidance counselors to help you save (e.g.,
getting application fee waivers); do your own homework.
- Limit your search to public colleges in your own state.
- Consider public colleges outside your own state.
- Ask about eligibility for cost-savings and scholarship programs
at colleges you are considering.
- Apply for scholarships (don’t forget FastWeb, a site for
- Find out about any regional exchanges your state belongs to
(e.g., Western Undergraduate Exchange), which offer tuition
discounts to residents of member states.
- Find colleges where credit overloads are free (for example, you
pay for 15 credits per semester, but get to take additional courses
at no cost).
- Find colleges that will lock in tuition on the first day of
your child’s freshman year or will guarantee course availability so
that your child can meet all requirements within four years of
study or will pay all tuition costs for the final semester if your
child has gone straight through and finished on time.
- Convince your child to attend the most selective college that
accepts him or her (because your child is more likely to graduate
on time and save unnecessary tuition costs).
- Consider one of seven “federal work colleges,” which find jobs
for students for students to work at on campus or in the nearby
community in return for a tuition credit.
- Consider cooperative education programs, which mix semesters of
paid work and college study in effective ways.
- Consider studying abroad, where prices aren’t as high as you
- Make sure your child stays on schedule and graduates on time in
four years (not six).
- Fill out all paperwork completely and on time, including that
pesky FAFSA (get outside help if you need to, because that will be
money well spent).
Check out these resources mentioned in this episode...
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