Click here to download the transcript of Brad & Jocelyn's best tips on making college affordable when you don't qualify for financial aid!
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The cost of college is ridiculous.
You can give your child a top quality education or s/he can have a home free-and-clear plus retirement fully funded instead.
That trade-off doesn't make any financial sense.
Sure, I'm a huge fan of education. I believe in the importance of the college experience as a valuable launch-pad into adulthood, but the cost of college shouldn't be so outrageously high that you're literally making a decision between higher education versus a debt free home plus retirement security.
Adding insult to injury, college education is the only business that demands all your financial statements before deciding what they're going to charge you. Just imagine buying a car from a dealer who demands full disclosure of every detail of your net worth and personal finances including tax statements before deciding how much he should charge you for the car.
Absurd? Yes! But that's exactly how the college business operates.
Even worse, the system is rigged against most of my readers.
For example, some quality schools are running $70K per year for all-in costs meaning $280K total if you child graduates in 4 years, and $350K if s/he takes 5 years. Even if you round that number down to $250K to be conservative that's still $500K total if you have 2 kids. That's a big nut to swallow for anyone, even if you're reasonably successful. Only the very wealthy can afford to be cavalier about such a large number, and only the very poor qualify for enough financial aid that they don't have to worry about how to pay for college.
So the purpose of this podcast is to help you figure out how to afford the high cost of college when you don't qualify for need-based financial aid. It's a tremendously important subject because paying for college is one of the biggest financial issues you'll face – right up there with buying a home and funding retirement.
I invited two experts in back-to-back interviews that will share two different perspectives on how to pay for college. The goal of this podcast episode is to provide you with a complete education in college affordability for the affluent all in one podcast episode.
My first guest is Brad Baldridge, a CFP specializing in helping middle and upper-middle class families afford college.
My second guest is Jocelyn Paonita, who secured over $126,000 in scholarships to cover her tuition and graduate debt free. She will teach her complete system for getting enough scholarships to pay for college without ever borrowing a dime.
In this episode you'll discover:
- The six different categories of schools and the financial advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Why college is just a business, like any other, so you can properly assess the costs vs. benefits of different school offers.
- How you can attend certain out-of-state schools at in-state tuition rates.
- Why you have a better chance at scoring merit aid at a private school than a state school.
- The critical difference between merit and need-based aid.
- How your children can get free scholarship money even when they're not academic or athletic rockstars.
- A behind-the-scenes peek at colleges marketing strategies so you don't fall for their tricks.
- How the bottom 25% of an incoming class pays for the top 25% of students.
- The four dimensions of paying for college.
- Brad's favorite strategies for reducing the burden of paying for college, including business and tax strategies.
- How to figure out your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- What you need to know about FAFSA and the CSS Profile.
- Why you must complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile even if you think you'll never qualify for need-based aid.
- How to use net price calculators that colleges must provide (and their downsides).
- How to set expectations with your child so you're not footing an enormous bill.
- The formula for how income versus assets are weighted in financial aid calculations.
- How to negotiate with schools to lower tuition or obtain better aid packages.
- Why it's important to begin this process sooner than later – as early as sophomore year in high school.
- Jocelyn's entrepreneurial strategy to pursue scholarship revenue as an alternative to a job.
- The exact system Jocelyn used to win half the scholarship applications she submitted.
- What it means to get into a “money-making mindset” before applying for scholarships.
- How to separate legitimate scholarships from all the scams.
- How to use mathematical expectancy principles to pick the most lucrative scholarships.
- The surprising reason you'll want to pursue smaller scholarships over the large ones.
- The unfortunate truth of how college financial aid offices deal with merit and need-based scholarships.
- How storytelling and structure are critically important to your college essays.
- How to use events and accomplishments to ‘sell' a story in an application.
- The 529 loophole every parents must know.
- and much more….
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:
- Step 3 – Wealth Planning Course
- Financial Aid Handbook by Stack & Vedvik
- Brad's website – Taming the High Cost of College
- EFC Calculator
- Scholarship Guide for Busy Parents
- Brad's podcast
- College Navigator
- Jocelyn's Scholarship Systems course
- (Please note: some of the links above are affiliate links so if you buy a course or book using these links I will receive a little compensation. Thank you for supporting this site!)
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great stuff although you didn’t get to a critical issue…is college really worth lost earning time and $ spent. i’m not sure it is anymore. is there a reliable way to find out and for what subjects studied?
You have to be careful with this type of analysis. The implied assumption to your question is that college should be valued based only on the career income increase potential. I think that’s too narrow a view. I also see a lot of value to college as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood where the child heads out on their own for the first time and learns how to succeed and develop self-determination within a controlled, structured environment. In short, there are many value streams from college, and many value streams from a broad educational background, that can’t be equated simply to dollars and cents of career income.
” I also see a lot of value to college as a right (sic) of passage from childhood to adulthood where the child heads out on their own for the first time and learns how to succeed and develop self-determination within a controlled, structured environment.”
Certainly that’s one point of view, but I have the opposite. A rite of passage is actually a ceremony symbolizing the individual’s transition to a new social status. There can be a test to prove worthiness. College doesn’t fit this description at all.
First, it’s not a ceremony but four years of bureaucratic nonsense. Second, it’s an infantilizing system where the young adult is in extended adolescence, surrounded by other infantile young adults mostly running wild without parental supervision. These young adults are not responsible for anything of much importance most of the time and their behavior shows it. In my experience, anyone of maturity gets pretty sick of it after a couple of years and can’t wait to get on with life.
In addition, the academy has been captured by far left idealogues for the purpose of finalizing the brainwashing begun in k-12. College brainwashing is even more effective since the evil parents are not present. Therefore, the more “education” a person has, the more that person uncritically believes the propaganda coming out of the power centers. See Noam Chomsky on this.
To say that one can develop self-determination in a controlled environment is amazingly self contradictory. Either you have self-determination or you are controlled. The latter is the truth, and like everything else in our culture, the control is hidden by a veneer of meaningless choices. “I can take this course this semester, and that course next semester.”
Becoming an adult requires, not four years of extended adolescence, but taking on adult responsibilities, such as family, financial and career responsibilities. These real responsibilities are put on hold for four years of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of the poor, long suffering parents at an outrageous price tag. The whole thing is a total scam, as both interviews demonstrate very well. The “elite” universities, after picking the best students in the country, have convinced the middle class that their children will never get a decent job without their diploma, then crow about how great their grads are. Anyone who falls for this is just not paying attention.
What an “elite” university education gets you is access to the children of the wealthy and powerful, and to some high achievers. That access can be parleyed into success (or not, if you have seen some of the very revealing surveys of Harvard grads). This has been known and obvious for many generations, as exemplified by FDR writing to his parents that he got a “gentleman’s c” in one of his courses. It’s not the grades or the education that’s important, it’s the contacts.
And you will never convince me that those mega institutions in the UC system are “great schools.” Believe what you wanna believe, but I’m not buying it.
Besides, the quality of education is only loosely correlated to the university. A motivated student will develop his intellect anywhere, and that includes outside the academy. Sadly, the current system forces people to pursue a diploma for various professions, where in prior generations apprenticeships were common. The propaganda has taken care of the rest of the students.
It’s great that you enjoyed your college days. Good for you. But then to say that the college scam is a rite of passage, and that the cost to families, both in dollars and (common) sense, is “worth it” is admitting that you’ve drunk the kool-aid. For someone who has seen through other scams, this is very surprising.
Yeah, but Liz, how do you really feel? Please, don’t mince words… LOL!
I hear a lot of truth in what you’re saying, but I don’t agree with the polarity of your viewpoint.
I still see a lot of value in college despite there being a lot of truth in your comment.
And thank you for catching my spelling error. I fixed it. (Guess I should’ve got a better education!)