Paying for College

College Costs: How Much Is TOO Much?

Have you ever noticed that the smaller bridges in your area have weight-limit signs on them? “Weight Limit: 10,000 lbs." the warning may read. This is the roads department's way of telling you how much is enough. Granted, those weight-limit signs are probably showing a very conservative number. That is, if it says “10,000 lbs.," the bridge can probably handle 20-30% (or more than that).

I was just wondering what the cost-limit signs for colleges would look like. For example, I envision signs on their gilded ivy-covered main gates that say something like “Caution: Cost limit: $250,000." That would be how much the sticker price of a four-year degree there would soak you. On the other hand, when visiting colleges, families (especially parents) should have their own warning signs as a pronouncement to college officials.

I can see parents sitting with their high school seniors in a college information session with something big and bold like this beaming from a sign around their necks: WARNING: College cost limit: $80,000. That would grab the attention of the admission department info-session speakers.

Keep reading Show less