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Pay For College Before It Even Starts

| July 12, 2017
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As a parent of a teen (14), a “tween” (12) and a wannabe (9), college planning is front and center for me…as it is for many of our clients who are parents or grandparents. As the cost of a college education continues to climb at 5-6% per year, the need to find ways to cover this cost becomes increasingly important - and the sooner the better.


Currently, the average annual cost of tuition at a private college is $33,480, and $9,650 at a state school for in-state students (source: College Board). This doesn’t begin to cover the cost of housing, food, books, and so on. So how does the average student, parent or grandparent meet this goal? One enterprising young man took the problem head on - and solved it…one newspaper at a time. 


I love hearing stories of people who come from relatively little means, take all that America has to offer, and capitalize on it to great success. We are lucky to live in a free country where you can be just about anything you desire. Your potential is usually only limited by your willingness to work for it. Kevuntez King knows all about that. He sold newspapers from the age of 12-17, and has now managed to cover the ENTIRE cost of his own college education.


Hear ye, hear ye…read all about it! Click here for the complete story. 

Some students are lucky enough to have relatives that pay the full cost of their college education. Others (like me, for example) aren’t quite that lucky. However, I am very grateful that I had to work during college to cover what scholarships didn’t. I left college with a small, but manageable amount of student loans. Had I not finished in four years, I would not have been able to afford a fifth year. The fact I had “skin in the game” gave me ownership of this experience.


The key to funding the cost of college is to be creative. To help our clients plan for college funding for their kids or grandkids, our firm uses a forecasting software that includes a database with costs to attend every college and university in the country. The database includes tuition, room & board and even fees. Armed with this information, clients can make better decisions, and then build creative solutions to help fund them. Some parents/grandparents want to fund 100% of these costs; others want to fund only part of it. It’s a rewarding exercise.


We often find that the key to a successful “college investment” is to involve the student early on so they don’t take the investment for granted and have some ownership in how the money is raised and spent. A lot can be done with $200,000 (the average cost for a four-year, private school education) - funding a college education is only one of them. Someone wouldn’t invest that amount of money without evaluating the potential return on their investment, so why should college be any different? It might be that some kids should be encouraged, like Kevuntez King, to pay for some, or all of the education themselves - before it even starts.


I especially like the wisdom of young Kevuntez, ““Make sure you surround yourself with people trying to go up in life, and not trying to bring you down. Just stay positive, always believe in yourself and push for it.” Great advice from a person who knows how to deliver!


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