Despite the obvious discomfort surrounding discussions about money, this summer provides a natural opportunity for students and their families to begin talking about the cost of college. Every student should understand the sacrifice that parents make to provide a college education for their children. In the US alone, student loan borrowers owe more than 1.5 trillion dollars in debt.
It’s a good idea not to be one of the students who are strangled by debt after graduation. The responsibility of a gargantuan student loan is a terrible burden and many young adults move back home because they cannot afford the cost of living in their own apartment. This is not a happy prospect for either the student or her parents.
In order to prevent poor decision-making, take a serious look at what college will cost; students and their parents can fill out the Net Price Calculator, which can be found at collegecost.ed.gov/net-price. The Net Price Calculator determines the projected cost of various schools by combining information about the schools’ tuition cost with customizable information relating to grants, scholarships, and need-based aid.
This tool can be a great way to turn the prospective cost of college into a family discussion, since it will be a key factor in the college selection process. Young adult life — no matter where or how one chooses to spend it — is all about learning to balance and manage one’s resources, so there’s no time like the present to begin examining the realities of college expenses.