I remember my college search process, the campus visits, and final choice like it was yesterday… my thought process went something likes this: I deserve to go anywhere that accepts me. Cost barely registered in my decision-making – and certainly not because my parents could afford it. My mom just kept telling me “we would figure it out,” while my Dad kept telling me it wasn’t that simple. I had no idea how to prepare for college financially, and my parents, having both gone to college while mostly living at home two decades prior were ill-prepared to guide me.
When I think back on how risky the decision I made was… I had zero college savings, and extremely limited financial support from my parents for school – a few $100s for books and the occasional plane ticket home. I signed up for $10,000s of student loans without even blinking, asking extended family members to co-sign, without fully grasping what I was asking of them. I never weighed what my future earnings potential would be or if I could even afford it. Thinking back – I got lucky, unbelievably lucky. Following the same path today, the math would not work out in my favor.
This guide will help high school students:
1. Evaluate college like an investment decision
* The Initial Cost & How to Pay For It
* Vs. Expected Future Earnings
2. Address Specific Questions from High School Seniors
3. Lessons Learned & Experiences from Family Finance Moms