Latest Edition: Paying For College Without Going Broke

Latest Edition: Paying For College Without Going Broke
  • Opening Intro -

    College costs continue to rise and there is no end in sight to these increases.

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Fortunately, families that are looking to contain these costs can do so by filling out a Free Application For Student Aid Report, the first step for receiving financial relief.

2013 Edition

Families can also go one step further by utilizing certain resources to help them find savings. One tool that we’ve looked at here previously is Kalman Chany’s book, “Paying for College Without Going Broke,” an annually updated resource published by Random House, Inc. for The Princeton Review. We were sent a copy of the latest edition and can tell you that it still offers one of the better resources for navigating through the labyrinth of challenges for paying for college education. Chany, along with Geoff Martz, put together a 352-page resource with this year’s forward written by former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

As before, the 2013 edition is loaded with worksheets and forms. You will want to use these worksheets to find out how much your total income earned from work and tie this information in with other tax data including untaxed income, income exclusions, taxes paid, your state’s allowance and student income. By using these worksheets carefully, you learn what your expected contribution will be as a family, or what the cost of college education for your dependent child will be. Find out what these costs will be before the Student Aid Report is issued.

Financial Strategies

Besides the detailed forms and worksheets, the authors devote considerable space to discussing long-term strategies for affording college. Although college costs continue to rise, the rate of increase is slowing for private schools as families choose more affordable state colleges and universities instead. Private schools are carefully weighing increases with student aid making many of these institutions affordable for even the most cash-strapped families.

As before, “Paying For College” continues to tout the “public ivies,” the state universities that offer an excellent education option for students and at price that is affordable. However, such schools such as the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Tech, among others, are few in number and charge out-of-state residents far more than in-state residents. Thus, the price tag for a student from Oklahoma that is considering Virginia Tech and Brown University may not be that far apart especially when student aid is factored.

Debt Advice

The authors also devote a chapter to managing your debt. After all, even with student aid considerations, college savings accounts and family contributions, there is a good chance that federal and private student loans will be used to cover the costs of college educations. Loans may be unavoidable, but they do not have to rule your life. At the same time, students should be mindful that whatever money is borrowed will have to be repaid — defaulting on a student loan can have enormous consequences as these loans are rarely ever forgiven.

The 2013 edition of “Paying For College” retails for $20. But, just like a college education, your price can vary from retailer to retailer. You can find it on Amazon for under $14.

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Categories: Personal Advice