Paying for College

Juniors: Look Ahead to Paying for College

Today I'd like to address high school juniors and their parents. We're nearing the end of another school year. After classes end for you this spring, you will become “rising" seniors. Hopefully, during this junior year, you had a chance to begin (or continue) your discussions with your parents about your college process. If you did, that was (is, and will be) time very well spent.

One of the key aspects within the college process is the link between college selection and the ability to afford those candidate schools. Students tend to be idealistic and lean toward schools about which they've heard good things or whose names and reputations populate their discussions and dreams. Of course, I'm talking about the so-called “elites" — the Ivy League Eight and other “prestigious" colleges and universities.

Most parents, on the other hand, take a much more pragmatic approach, trying to strike a reasonable balance between their child's idealism and the real-world ability to pay. With some schools now heading north of $300,000 for an undergraduate degree, pragmatism is prudent.

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