I’ve written a lot about our experience of paying for college for our daughter. She’s just begun her junior year and I think we just about have it figured out.
But my son is entering his junior year of high school, so we’re starting from scratch with college visits, ACT testing, and the rest. And because his wish list includes at least one college that’s quite a bit more expensive than the option his sister chose, I’m doubling down on researching college costs.
I want to share with you some of the interesting info I’ve found on that topic, but first, here are the college topics that my daughter, Lindsey (a journalism major), and I have been covering recently:
- Our post this week at U.S. News & World Report was about the social side of college: 5 Tips for U.S., International Students to Make Friends in College.
- We also got the opportunity to take our mother/daughter writing offline with a piece in NextStepU magazine: Making the Most of a College Fair. NextStepU is a publication aimed at high school students and, while it’s distributed mostly through high schools, you can read a lot of their helpful content online.
Now onto the rest:
- Julie Halpert of The Fiscal Times writes about College Costs Shocker: Parents Could Pay an Extra $28k. Much information about college costs focuses on tuition, room & board, and books, but there are lots of other fees and expenses that can go along with paying for college and Julie outlines them here. I knew about this article because Julie interviewed me for it and used some of our info in the opening paragraph.
- Julie followed that article up with another excellent piece: How Much College Do You Owe Your Kids? This can be a tough question for parents who are trying to balance providing a college education for their kids with planning for retirement and other financial priorities.
- And if the above describes you, you don’t want to miss My Kids Aren’t Ruining My Retirement and Other Lies You Are Telling Yourself at Forbes.com. As the title suggests, it’s tough talk for us parent types, but comes with some tips to help us navigate the process.
- While you’re there, you can check out Forbes’ list of the Top 650 colleges. Forbes contends their list is unique because it is based on “educational outcomes, not reputations”. They base their findings on the following:
- Post graduate success
- Student satisfaction
- Four-year graduation rate
- Competitive awards
Rankings like these should always be taken with at least a small grain of salt, but they’re still fun to check out. I dare you not to look and see where your alma mater rates (mine comes in at #308).
Do your kids have college in their futures? Have you decided how to pay for it yet?