Skip to Content
Many families make too much money to qualify for financial aid, yet find themselves unable to manage college bills that now routinely reach $70,000 per year per student. Loading up on student loans is not a good way to deal with this challenge. A better way is to pay less. How do you do that?
- Focus on the projected cost to attend a college for a full four years. Four years at a $15,000/yr State University will run you $60,000 versus a whopping $280,000 for a school that costs $70,000/yr, as many now do.
- Seek out schools that offer merit aid. Merit aid is not based on financial need. It is essentially a discount off sticker price offered to a student to entice the student to attend a school. Not all schools offer merit aid but many do. It is not uncommon for merit aid awards to range from $80,000 – $120,000 over four years. To maximize your chances for merit aid, focus on schools where the student’s academic credentials are in the top 25 percent of the school’s typical admitted freshman class.
- Many colleges will match merit awards offered by competing schools. If one school offers a strong merit award, use it as leverage to seek higher awards from other schools. This only works for schools that offer merit awards. Don’t be sheepish about this. The student is already accepted at this point. Asking for more merit money won’t revoke their acceptance. If they offered you any merit aid, the college wants your student. Find out how badly the student is wanted.
- Talk about cost boundaries early in the process. If your family is not willing or able to pay $70,000/yr for college, make sure the student knows this early in the process. If a family has a maximum four year budget of $200,000, make sure the student knows this by their sophomore year of high school, before they get their heart set on a more expensive school.
- Don’t apply Early Decision to a school that offers merit aid. Merit aid is used as an incentive to get an accepted student to enroll. If a student applies early decision, they are compelled to attend at sticker price. Merit aid is unlikely to be offered.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Pathway Financial Advisors, LLC-“Pathway”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Pathway. Please remember that if you are a Pathway client, it remains your responsibility to advise Pathway, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Pathway is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Pathway’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Pathway does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Pathway’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.