How a Real-Life Family CEO is Putting Her Six(!) Kids Through College Without Debt


Paying for College / Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

I was flipping through the latest Money magazine recently when a headline caught my eye: This Middle-Class Mom Will Be Paying Four College Tuitions Next Year—And She’s Refusing to Borrow Money. Here’s How She’s Doing It.

Even though we’re done paying college tuition around here, I was intrigued enough to keep reading. When I did, I realized I was reading about a true Family CEO.

Case in point: this description of Sabrina Malone, the mom in the article: 

When the time came to start entrance exams and college visits, Sabrina scaled back the time she spent on WorkingMom.com and essentially became a full-time college and financial aid counselor. She figured if she can help her kids find and get into colleges where they pay little to nothing, that will add up to far more than what she’d be able to take home from a salary. She spends much of her days managing applications, transcripts, essays, and financial aid and scholarship applications. She shares a lot of what she learns—and gets support from—an active Facebook group where parents chat about paying for college.

To be clear, you don’t have to cut back on your day job in order to become a Family CEO, but it does help to approach your finances as if it’s your job, even a very part-time one. That’s the approach I embraced when I first started this blog, and one I continue to use to this day.

This family also moved from a very high tax state, to a low one, and the difference it made on their finances was dramatic. I found that interesting as well.

You can read the whole article online here.

Got any other examples of real-life Family CEOs, even yourself? Send them my way!

P.S. Are you still holiday shopping? Don’t forget all the great cash back you can get from sites like Mr. Rebates and Ebates (my two favorites). They’re a great source of Found Money. You will thank yourself when those rebates roll in in 2019.

2 Replies to “How a Real-Life Family CEO is Putting Her Six(!) Kids Through College Without Debt”

  1. Good article, while we only had three kids they were able to get their four year degrees for free. Their mom kept a close eye on their homework and studies and they all were A students and scored well on their college admission tests. Because states like ours, Arkansas (4th lowest cost of living vs Delaware at 33rd), are desperate to retain good students it was not hard for them to get full academic scholarships including tuition, fees and room and board at the in state university. Two obtained engineering degrees and one a business degree. I should add that I was a high earner so only scholarships that did not consider financial need were available to them. But even with that, they all had to turn money back in because they were overfunded by the scholarships.

    1. That is so great, Steve! I’m in Kansas City and many kids from our area go to the University of Arkansas. Congratulations to your family.

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