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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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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