The Best Way to Pay for College

What do you think is the best way to pay for college?

Well, besides having someone else pay for you . . . that would be nice. So let's talk about that for a moment. 

Scholarships

Here's the truth:

  • There are no rich people out there waiting to jump at the chance to pay for your child's college education.
  • Scholarships tend to fall into two categories: Merit, based on very low income; and Merit, based on exceptional achievements.
  • There are others, and they are often very narrowly defined as to eligibility.
  • Scholarship searches should be done no later than the summer between 11th and 12th grade. Deadlines for application are typically early in 12th grade year.


Cash

Remember, you finance every purchase you make. Either you pay interest to a borrower, or you lose the interest you could have earned had you kept the money invested. That is what opportunity cost is all about. Spend $80,000 for your student's college education, at in-state tuition rates. What could that eighty-grand, well-placed, have earned for you between now and your retirement? That is the true cost of paying cash.

Loans

  • Borrowing from the right source may, actually, be very efficient. Here's an example: You know you can earn 5% - 6% using proven, financial strategies.
  • Students can borrow (2020-2021 rates) at 2.75%
  • Why take money out of account earning 5% or better, when you could use someone else's money @ 2.75%?

I am not recommending loans, nor am I recommending paying cash. What I am advocating is that you consider all options; and especially those that an experienced college planner, with financial expertise, may suggest.

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies. Tagged as paying for college.

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