We’ll Begin by Determining the Needs of You and Your Family
You know how valuable education is, and you want to make sure your children receive quality schooling to and through university. The problem is the cost of higher education continues to add up on a yearly basis and it’s often difficult to properly plan for.
An investment in higher education can rival a home mortgage, so how do you determine which school is the best value for your student and affordable for your family?
Understand the Costs
Most people look up the cost of attendance from sources like U.S. News or the College Board. These are good starting points to find the advertised sticker price, but they are not necessarily representative of what you should expect to pay. An even better place to start is with our Free College Money ReportTM. From there, we go beyond the sticker price and determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the calculations each school uses. Using your EFC, we can determine the net (out-of-pocket) cost of college. We will also take a look at your options for funding college and give you a pre-approval amount, similar to shopping for a car or house, as a guide for evaluating how affordable universities are given your situation.
Did you know that while private schools tend to have higher sticker prices than in-state public schools, private universities with large endowments also tend to be much more generous with need-based financial aid than public universities?
Make a Plan
I’m not simply referring to saving a certain amount of money into a 529 plan each month, although that may be a piece of the puzzle. I’m talking about understanding how much each college will cost you based on the available scholarships, financial aid and your specific circumstances.
Most people (including financial advisors) look at the advertised price of a school, multiply it by 4 years, and assume that is how much they need to save. At On Point FP, I will help you compare the real net cost of the schools your child is considering so you can make an informed decision and craft a plan to pay for it.