Mark's Reviews > Pay for College Without Sacrificing Your Retirement: A Guide to Your Financial Future

Pay for College Without Sacrificing Your Retirement by Tim Higgins
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's review
Oct 31, 2010

it was ok
Read from October 31 to November 27, 2010

With college expenses coming up as soon as two years from now, I'm reading up on a variety of financial books on the topic. (Especially when our current mortgage refi gets embroiled in these financial plans.) There's some good stuff in here, and my 2-star rating may be a bit harsh. It's just that it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I'm not expecting a "magic" solution to this financial challenge, but am always researching. After all, the system has changed in the quarter-century since Candy & I went through this process as students.

For those that haven't already learned or experienced it, it's worth reading about the differences in schools (especially state & private) when it comes to meeting need. Some more expensive private schools have a policy of meeting needs. Although that will be in loans (borrowed money) as well as grants/scholarships (free money), it can make a more expensive school cost less in terms of immediate "cash" requirements. Yeah, you get those loans, but it can mean the difference between going to a top college or not. Whether you think the loans are worth that educational experience is a personal choice.

That point and another key one about private scholarships (that they're only 3% of the totality of financial aid in the US--waaaaay more is in college financial aid offices) match what I heard in a parent night with a college consultant firm. If I thought paying a few hundred (or more) dollars to a college financial advisor would make a big difference in our college finances I would go for it. Trouble is, I keep discovering that this knowledge can be had in books, by doing your homework, and understanding financial calculations (e.g. amortization, compound interest, etc.)

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