College costs are rising

College costs have risen substantially over the past ten years. But not all colleges cost the same. And some colleges give more scholarships than others. Families need to do their homework.

Start early.

The best way to navigate all of this is before, not after.

Talk to your kids.

Parents, talk to your child about college financials. What can the family afford for college? Will the student need to take loans? Will he/she apply for financial aid? Make sure their college list contains a range of schools giving the student choices not only with regard to academics, but with cost too. Adding in-state schools to a college list can help with the overall cost of a four-year education.


Please take the time to search out and read articles, books, and university brochures on college financials. What is the FAFSA? What is the CSS profile?

Visit colleges.

Begin visiting colleges with your child, no later than the start of junior year. Attend the information session and listen. Does the college offer merit money? What are the academic requirements necessary to receive merit money? What academic scholarships are available and how many students receive one? Is there an additional application to submit to be eligible for the university’s academic scholarships? 

Start your research today.

Below are two articles discussing the complexities of college financial aid, plus a link to an informative website.

“College Admission Roulette: Ask for Financial Aid, or Not?” 
[Read article on The New York Times]

“How Not to Blow It With Financial Aid – Common mistakes parents and students make when seeking help with college costs.”
[Read article on The Wall Street Journal]

“It’s comprehensive, it’s informative, it’s objective – and it’s the first stop on the web for students looking for ways to finance their education. Access to FinAid is free for all users and there is no charge to link to the site.”
[Read article on]