In This Chapter
Understanding the financial aid system
Examining the right and wrong ways to save for college
Figuring out how much you need to save
Finding ways to pay for college when the time comes
Exploring educational investment options
If you're like most parents (or potential future parents), just turning to this chapter makes you anxious. Such trepidation is understandable. According to much of what you read about educational expenses (particularly college expenses), if costs keep rising at the current rate, you'll have to spend upwards of $250,000 to $500,000 dollars to give your youngster a quality (college and graduate school) education.
Whether you're about to begin a regular college investment plan or you've already started saving, your emotions may lead you astray. The hype about educational costs may scare you into taking a financially detrimental path. However, quality education for your child doesn't have to — and probably won't — cost you as much as those gargantuan projections suggest. In this chapter, I explain the inner workings of the financial aid system, help you gauge how much money you'll need, and discuss educational investment options so that you can keep a cool head (and some money in your pocket) when all is said and done.
Just as your child shouldn't choose a college based solely on whether she thinks she can get in, she shouldn't choose a college on the basis of ...