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Who is on the hook for student loans?

Parents often ask what options their student has for loans that don’t require a co-signer. The answer: very few other than federal direct student loans. A quick review: undergraduate education loans come in three broad types: Direct student loans: These are federal loans for undergraduate students, with an annual borrowing limit ranging from $5,500 for first-year students to $7,500 for…

Tuition is On Sale!

Last year, private nonprofit colleges discounted tuition at record rates: the average tuition discount rate was 53.9% for first-time undergraduates. That means that among this year’s college freshmen, for every $1,000 of list price tuition, only $461 was actually paid, according to initial data from NACUBO. While the pandemic certainly increased colleges’ need to discount tuition to bring students to…

Public College Affordability

Much has been made of cost increases at private colleges, with many schools costing $75,000 or more annually. Recent research by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) shows that public colleges have also become increasingly unaffordable. NCAN’s recent report, The Growing Gap, shows that public colleges and universities– once considered drivers of social mobility– are in fact becoming increasingly inaccessible…

In Search of the Magic Money Tree

I talk with a lot of parents about paying for college. One of the most common questions I hear is, “But where does the money come from?” Sadly, there is no magic money tree out there– and we all know what happened to the Giving Tree in the Shel Silverstein book. The best alternative to the magic money tree is…

To all the Sophomore Families

If you’re a parent of a high school sophomore (or younger) and reading this, congratulations! Today you’re going to learn some things you can do that will benefit you far more on the FAFSA than the last-minute moves families can make just before filing the FAFSA. Filing the FAFSA is a lot like filing your taxes: You can definitely wait…

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