College admissions decisions are arriving – a joyous time for students relishing their success. A disappointing moment when dream schools say no. No matter which, these emotions will soon be overrun by the reality of making a school choice. And then figuring out how to pay the coming college bill. Lurking under it all: how much student loan debt will be required to get to graduation?
- It’s cheaper to save than to borrow:
Regarding college expenses, today’s environment is much more multidimensional than the old maxim of “a dollar saved is a dollar earned”, as many utilize student loans to cover the rising cost of higher education. Having to borrow becomes a much more costly endeavor long term, whereas savings is a more attractive option. For example, saving $100 per month averaging a 4% rate of return compounded annually over 18 years would produce about $31,437.
Paying for college can be overwhelming. Knowing the options and identifying sources of money for your family to pay the college bill is half the battle.
For most families, the options to pay for college boil down to:
- Getting financial aid
Calculating a precise Return on Investment (ROI) of a college degree is less important than taking actions that will result in better returns. We can put the calculator away and think simply about how to increase the Return on Investment for education.
High school seniors are now filling out college applications. Some students have the college of their dream in sight. Others will have to make a tough choice about which college they will attend.
So, how should families wade through emotional connections to certain colleges and make a decision that is rooted in logic?
This article will:
- Tell you why filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA®”) is important no matter what your family income may be,
- Discuss the Academic Year 2022-2023 FAFSA® form, and
- Outline the likely changes to the FAFSA® form to be used in 2024-25
If you want to skip right to the finish line to get an estimate of the amount of financial aid you might eligible to receive, use this free Financial Aid Estimator.
Parents, take advantage of this huge opportunity to increase college savings with free cash from Uncle Sam!
The government is now sending eligible parents cash each month. This free money can supercharge a child’s college savings nest egg and reduce future student loan debt. As MyCollegeCorner likes to say: “Saving a dollar today is better than borrowing one tomorrow®"