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.
Most families know that there are many ways to pay for college: savings, loans, grants, scholarships, financial aid, gifts from friends and family, income from a job, etc. Sometimes overlooked is a hidden gem that could reduce student borrowing and the total cost of paying for college: tuition payment plans.
When you buy expensive things -- a TV, a car, a house --, you most likely take more and more time to carefully consider the risks, rewards, and probable outcomes associated with the purchase as the price increases. No one wants to waste hard-earned money. In addition to knowing the purchase price, you will likely have a good handle on the ultimate cost, including after-purchase expenses such as maintenance and insurance. This is true for nearly all consumer transactions -- except for purchasing an education.
Soon, juniors in high school will be rising seniors. Also rising will be their anxiety level and the pressure students and parents feel to find the perfect 4-year dream college. Maybe it does not have to be this way.