With the sticker price of  four-year undergraduate tuition & expenses approaching a quarter of a million dollars at many institutions, students and parents often make the mistake of taking these schools off their radar instead opting for seemingly less pricey in-state tuition.   The annual cost of education often exceeds what most families set aside towards their retirement and mortgage costs.   It is without question that families should be exceedingly thorough in evaluating whether an institution’s sticker price offers a potential return on this educational investment.   What many families do not realize is that the “sticker price” is not only negotiable but there are significant  educational discounts based on the difference between the actual published cost and the families expected family contribution (EFC).  How a college meets that difference is up for grabs and subject to negotiation depending on a number of factors that relate to how badly an institution is interested in having the prospective student add to the mix of the incoming class.  Institutional financial aid can be in the form of work-study, grants (which do not have to be paid back) or loans.  The mix of that aid is subject to negotiation which will be discussed in a subsequent blog posting. These articles discuss the sticker vs. actual  price of education and  families can also estimate their EFC at FAFSA4caster.gov  

NYTimes:  What Happens if You Save for College?

Yes you can afford college!












































































































































































































































































also estimate their EFC at FAFSA4caster.gov  Yes you can afford college!