The Tuition Maze: Charting an Effective Course

By Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA
As parents and guardians, we look forward to the day that our child gets accepted to the college of his or her choice. Unfortunately for many, the joy of their child’s college acceptance is overshadowed by the financial anxieties. The good news is there are a surprising number of options available to help parents and guardians deal with increasing costs. From scholarships and financial aid, to special savings plans and low-cost loans, there are plenty of ways to make the college experience less of a financial burden.
Investing in the Future
When it comes to assessing the practical value of a college education, there’s no arguing with the numbers.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, young adults with a bachelor’s degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2009, 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 25 percent more than young adults with an associate’s degree.[1] That’s why, for most parents and guardians, obtaining a college education for their children is virtually an article of faith, something we feel is a necessary ingredient for a stable, successful life.
Strategic Planning Key
While it’s true that the cost of college can be truly daunting — some top schools are charging upwards of $40,000 a year — it’s also true that many families are finding ways to ease the financial burden. Here are some steps you can take to make the whole process as easy and as painless as possible.
Improve your credit score. Establishing good credit can help you secure the low-cost loans you may need — and save thousands of dollars.
Plan for the unexpected. Estate planning and the right kinds of insurance will help protect against the derailment of your child’s college plans.
Save smart and early. Gain a significant advantage and maximize your resources by choosing the college-savings plan that’s right for you.
The bottom line: College is a major investment in your child’s future. And, like any investment, it is wise to do as much early preparation and research as possible. It may also be advantageous to enlist the support of an experienced professional who can advise you based on the specifics of your situation.
[1] Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The Condition of Education 2011  (NCES 2011–033), Indicator 17.
This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA. For additional information on the topic(s) discussed, please contact him at (860) 298-1053. Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions.

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