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Understanding the Costs of College



We all know how crazy expensive college can be these days. I had no idea but the research shows, 
the majority of college dropouts leave because of financial pressure

Do you worry about how to pay or plan for college? How do you get started? Where do you even begin?

Do you have a high schooler getting ready to go to college and you feel totally unprepared financially?

Do you wonder how you can find creative ways to save money (that you’ve never thought about)?


Today I am talking with 
Brad Baldridge, and he is an experienced College Funding Specialist who has worked with thousands of families to plan and save for college and this is such an interesting interview because I wish I would have known Brad before my three kids went to college because so much of what he talks about I didn’t know and I wasn’t intentional like I could have been (my husband and I could have been) to really prepare for our kids going to college and to find creative ways to save money. 

In this episode Brad shares so much that you’re going to find helpful:
 
How to plan ahead and how to pay for college.

  • How to plan ahead and pay for college
  • Maximizing financial aid and scholarships (there are so many scholoarchips out there)
  • How you can be more intentional and save money

I’m so excited for you to hear and listen to this and I know you’re going to find it really helpful.

So let’s jump in!

____________________

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Resources Brad Mentioned In This Episode:

Financial Aid & Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator – 2022-23
The Scholarship Guide for Busy Parents Cost of Colleges by State
College Visits Questionnaire and Checklist
2022-23 Federal Student Loan Interest Rates


Where to Find Brad:


His podcast: Taming The High Cost Of College
Website: Taming The High Cost Of College
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TamingTheHighCostOfCollege
Email: [email protected]

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Listen below or scroll down to read the full episode transcribed, if you don’t have time.

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Sheryl   

Welcome, Brad to The Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. Great to have you here.

Brad

Great to be here.

Sheryl   

Well, we are going to talk all about college and financial preparation and scholarships and financial aid. And so many of those topics right now parents are thinking about, and they might have a junior, or their seniors are getting ready to leave.

When I was reading about you and listening to your podcast, I knew we needed you because our kids went to college, we’ve had three, our youngest is a senior in college and so many things that we did not think about that you talked about. So I want you to tell our listeners a little bit about yourself. I know you have three kids.

Brad

I have a podcast out there, called Taming the High Cost of College, I founded tamingthehighcostofcollege.com, where we help families plan and pay for college. And that’s been my focus for about the last 15 years now where I’ve helped families individually, and I’ve built courses, and I’ve got all kinds of free resources. So that’s how I kind of got into the podcasting world and started learning about it personally, and I just loved podcasting. So then got involved in creating one. And here we are today.

And then of course, my own children, my oldest now is a freshman in college. So now I have to eat my own cooking, so to speak, where I’ve got a freshman in college, a senior in high school, and a freshman in high school. So we’re in the midst of college planning ourselves on top of everything else.

Sheryl   

Okay. Wow. So you have you even have a new perspective having a freshman in college?

Brad

Yes, absolutely.

Sheryl   

I was thinking, as I was reading and listening to your podcast, how often parents that I work with are so focused on their kids and getting good grades and getting into that college and their ACT scores, and if they’re volunteering and all of those things, and yet, this seems to be an area, the financial piece of it that often gets kind of swept under the rug, do you find is that is your experience?

Brad

Oh, absolutely. I meet a lot of parents of sophomores, juniors, and seniors and mostly juniors and seniors, who realize that there’s a lot of work to do around planning and paying for college, not just getting accepted, but all the other stuff of having the right test scores and visits and figuring out what it’s going to cost. And it seems to work a little backward in that, for a lot of families, you don’t really know what the final price is going to be till you get to the very end.

It’s kind of like if you went to a car dealer, and they had stickers on the cars, but they were all outrageous, right? So that car is 200,000, that there’s 100,000. And then as you start to test drive, and they say, Well, don’t look at the sticker price, because the federal government is going to give you some help. And we’ve got loans, and we’ve got all these different ways to help pay for the car. So then you were to ask, well, what does it really cost? Well, I don’t know, we’ll figure that out at the end, decide if you want to buy it first, decide if you want to go through all the hassle, and then we’ll tell you what it costs.

And I think that’s the big challenge that most families are up against. And one of the things that I’ve been figuring out and helping with is getting a price ahead of time. In the junior year, you can figure out at least approximately what a college might cost. So now there’s kind of two steps to the process. The first one is to find a college that net cost will be reasonable for your situation, whatever that means.

And then the second part is, well, we’re still going to have to pay some so how are we going to pay for that efficiently? So if you can find a low-cost school, or maybe your local state schools are low-cost, that’s one strategy. And then once you decide, Okay, well I’m on the hook for 10 or 20 or 30,000. Well, how do I raise that money? Is it loans? Is it saving and investing? What are the different ways that I can come up with that and actually pay the bill?

Most of the time I hear things like well, we don’t know how this is all gonna work. But what we do know is we don’t want to put a bunch of debt on our kids and we want them to get a good education. And that’s about as far as it gets initially. And then it’s like, well, what does that mean? What kind of school are you really looking for? And then what resources are you willing to spend?

College has been getting more and more expensive. I think the good news is that’s kind of the history of college, I don’t think it’s going to continue to grow like it has been, because it’s gotten expensive enough now where it’s becoming an impediment. So a lot of colleges are realizing that they can’t raise prices, or if they do raise prices, they have to raise scholarships to go with it, in order to continue to attract enough students.

Sheryl   

One of the reasons I was excited to have you on the show is just to raise our awareness around this. Our son was playing division one baseball, and he was recruited by William and Mary, expensive school, state school, but out of state, it’s expensive. And he was a catcher, and they had a position open and he had gotten a scholarship. It was interesting because he did end up getting a scholarship and working towards it.  I want to talk a little bit about that as well.

When you’re in the process, just become aware of thinking about finances first, rather than backward, which is what we did, I’ll just be very transparent here, which our kids got super excited about a college. And we’ve looked at it, and then they want to go there. And then didn’t really think so much about the cost. I think we were in a little denial, not really thinking about that. And so didn’t ask important questions until our nose was to the grindstone.

What would you recommend to the parent like us, they kind of decided where their kids going and now they’re like, Oh, no. What have we done? Our kid wants to go here. They’ve been accepted. And now what should we do as far as financial aid? Maybe looking into scholarships? Is it too late?

Brad

Well, it’s not too late. I guess the challenge is doing it with intention or sometimes things just fall together. You don’t realize how lucky you were. Like you gave the example of your son was a catcher, and they needed to catcher, and everything lined up. Which is great.

But for a lot of people, you kind of shop around and you fall in love with schools. And I think what you really need to start assessing what are your options? And is this a reasonable option? And can you make it happen? I think first you know, for some families, you’re going to need to take out some loans to make any college work. And that’s just the way the finances are going to work out.

But for other families, you might be in this position where well, here’s a school that cost, you know, 20,000, which we can pretty easily afford because we have some savings or can afford to pay. But here’s another school that they really love. And it’s 50,000. And now you got to do some soul searching of am I going to tighten the belt and really spend an extra 30,000 a year just because they like it? A lot of times the parents might like it, too. But what’s the reality?

I always tell people, ask your student to try and articulate what it is that they’re going to get that’s so good at this school instead of that school. Because we’ve kind of trained our kids, especially those of us middle class, upper-middle-class, where our kids are 10 or 12, or 14, or whatever and they say, Hey, that iPhone is really cool and on the next birthday or Christmas there it is. And then they get to be 16 or 17. And we’re tired of dragging them around all over the place. And they start dropping hints like we should have another car because then if I had a car, I could take myself to work or I could take myself to sports and you wouldn’t have to drag me all over the place. And of course, we agree, right? We’re tired of it.

So next thing we know a used car shows up that they get to drive. And now they’re looking at college and to their mind. It works the same way. Just drop a couple of hints, hey, I’m going to college mom, and they assume that you’re going to shake the money tree somehow and make it happen. They don’t understand the difference between a $500 phone and a 5000, or $25,000 car, and 100,000 or $200,000 college education. To them, it’s just big numbers, they don’t know, it doesn’t really mean much to them.

And I think that’s the big challenge that we’ve kind of set ourselves up for. Especially depending on the schools that our kids go to, a lot of times, there’s that peer pressure, where there are kids at your school who can go to any school because mom and dad do well, and they don’t care what it costs, and they’re gonna write the checks. And now there’s another family at the same school are a little more cost-conscious and less willing to just say, any school any price. I see this a lot. It happens a lot behind the scenes.

So when you’re on social media, and college reveals is now a thing, where your student has some social media post with the sweatshirt of their school of choice, or whatever it is. And there’s that need to have bragging rights, potentially, on what that sweatshirt actually says.

Brad

The reality is, some parents can’t afford to send their kids. If you’re giving up BMWs and driving Toyotas so that you can send your kid to an expensive college, that probably is fine then, right? Because you can afford to do it. But if you’re giving up retirement or robbing your 401k of hundreds of 1000s of dollars to make college happen. Now, maybe you should think twice and see if there’s a good alternative.

Sheryl   

Yeah, I like that. So, start thinking, even before you start looking at colleges, how much you can spend? What are you willing to spend? Just become aware before you even take them to that expensive private. If you go to a state school, correct me if I’m wrong,  it’s gonna be less money than going to a private school. True or false?

Brad

False, I mean, this certainly it could be, but it could be the opposite as well, I’ve seen many families go to a private school, for about the same price. That is not unusual at all, where the local state school is 25,000 and you can go to a local private for somewhere between 20 and 30. So the costs are very similar, sometimes a little better, sometimes a little more, that happens all the time.

Occasionally, you see the situation where the local state school is 25, or 30, and the private schools 10 or five, that doesn’t happen nearly as often. But if it does and your student is being recruited for something like athletics, or maybe they’re a really, really strong student, and they did well at the science fair, and they’re gonna win the one scholarship that covers everything. And there’s only one of those at that high school or at that college. So if you win it, then your price is great.

But if you don’t win it, then your price isn’t so good.  I think that’s the challenge, there are schools out there that for many families will be competitive, there are schools out there that may cost a ton. As an example, the high-end prestigious schools don’t offer any sort of merit aid. This means if you can afford to pay the 80,000  costs based on financial aid formulas, that’s what it will cost.

And a student that’s strong enough to get into those top schools could be a very strong scholarship recipient. At a lesser school, however, (not a bad school, it’s just not the Ivy League) they’ll still get a great education, they’ll still do wonderful things in their life most likely, but both schools are 80,000. But one school says, no aid. And then one school says, Well, based on your academics, your strong candidate will give you a $40,000 scholarship. So it’s net 40.

And then sometimes I see go the other way, again, those same prestigious schools where they don’t offer much aid if you can afford to pay are extremely generous, if you need it. So I’ve seen that happen where you can get into these $80,000 schools and get a 65 or $70,000 scholarship. So your net 10 And you say well, gee, I can go to Harvard or Yale or Stanford for less than the local state school because of the aid that I qualify for.

Sheryl   

Okay, so let’s say, beginner 101. You’re talking to me and I got a junior or sophomore, what would be kind of the first steps that you would recommend? As you’re looking at colleges?

Brad

I have a course one and one chapter in that course is figuring out what your price to beat is. In other words, what would your local state school actually cost? Doing some preliminary pricing. So if you took an average state school is 25,000. Most students can borrow 5,500 and assume they can work for 3000, in the summers or weekends, or whatever it is. That leaves 17 for the family. So that might be the price to beat.

Then when you’re looking at some of the private schools, and some of the other places, you can kind of start feeling them out and understanding what type of scholarships they offer, and how close they might come to that. And again, I’m not saying your sole goal is to find the lowest cost. A better way to think about it as the best value. If I’m going to spend more money. Hopefully, I’m gonna get something for that more money. And again, if you can afford to just say I want the prestigious school, and I don’t care what it costs, because I am doing well, and I can afford it. Well, great, then go ahead.

But for many families, that’s kind of a cost-benefit analysis, except it’s really hard to understand the costs. And it’s really hard to understand the benefits till you get to the very end of the process. And that makes it hard. There’s always this thought in the back of our mind of was there a better option out there? We only looked at seven or 10 colleges, would the 11th College had been the one that was actually a better cost?

Sophomore and junior year, that’s a great time for families to understand need-based aid and understand if you’re going to qualify, understand how merit aid works, and if you’re going to qualify, and then scholarships.

Sheryl   

Okay, so let’s say, I hear that and I feel totally overwhelmed by it. Where would you start? Do you call the school?

Brad

So the first thing you can do is you can go to my website, and I’ve got every state there, I’ve got a chart where it shows most of the popular state’s schools and most of the popular private schools in that state, and what they cost based on certain incomes. Now, this is data that the colleges put out there, so if we looked at my state, we’ve got the University of Wisconsin, Madison that school is about 26 or 27,000. If you look at the chart you can see if your income is between one and 25,000, your net cost is actually about 8000.

Well, how did that happen? Well, you could qualify for some sort of need-based aid or merit aid. This is on average, so the average person in that category, that’s what they paid. And the average person in the 110,000 plus paid 26,000. So they paid almost full price. Why is that? Well, because they didn’t qualify for much of the need-based aid, and there’s not a lot of other aid.

Now, if you look at a typical private school,  let’s say it costs 65,000. And at the very low incomes, it might cost you eight or 10 or 20 as compared to the state school, but even at 110,000 plus income, it’s still only 40 or 30, or something less than 60. Just about everybody gets some form of scholarship at some school. That’s a good place to start and say, on average people in his income bracket what is the average price that they paid?

Sheryl   

Oh, that’s good. Yeah, to be able to look at that. That definitely helps.

Brad

That gets you started, right? Chances are you’re not average. But that’s the next step. Well, if I’m not average, am I above average or below average? And more specifically, am I above average, or below average at this school? Because some schools are looking for baseball players, and they’re very generous. Some schools don’t even have a baseball team. So, you’re gonna strike out there for sure. Some schools just launched a history major. And they’re being generous for potential history students because they need them. In other schools, all the tuba players just graduated. So the band director and the symphony directors in the recruiting office saying we need players desperately, and start offering more scholarships or something because symphony doesn’t work without tuba.

Sheryl   

Our daughter who goes to a private university, ended up that way, things changed with finances, and we’re like, we need you to try to get a scholarship. So she’s going into her junior year when she found out about a scholarship for leadership. She talked to the financial aid office and the scholarship office, and she got it. So those are things I just want to encourage parents to think outside the box, that there are things that you can do that you might not even know if you don’t ask.

Brad

Right for sure. Scholarships is is another big topic, and is also quite confusing, because there are different types of scholarships, but nobody does a lot of differentiating when you see it in the news. Not too long ago, I saw a headline where a student was accepted to 126 colleges, and he had 4 million in scholarships. And it’s like, well, yeah, if you apply to enough colleges, and they all give you 20,000 off, well, eventually, it’s gonna add up to millions.

But that’s not the point, you can only go to one. And because you got scholarships from a whole bunch of other colleges, you can’t spend their scholarship at the college you attend. So that $4 million number is completely misleading, right? He’s only going to get one of them. So if he picks one, he’s not going to get the rest. So even in that situation, college is not free. So that’s where I think there’s a lot of confusion. But in general, there are scholarships from the institutions we’re attending. And that’s where we get into the need-based aid and the merit aid and the different things there.

And then there’s what we would call private or outside scholarships, where Coca-Cola offers a scholarship. And Bill Gates offers a scholarship and Buick offers the big ones, but so does the business down the street of your high school, the ice cream shop across the street from the high school, he gives away $1,000 a year because they make all their money from high school kids. So there are all kinds of other outside scholarships, you can spend those at any school, right? You get a scholarship from Marquette or from Harvard, that scholarship has to be used at Marquette or Harvard, you get a scholarship from Coca-Cola, or Buick, or the local business. You can use that scholarship anywhere.

Sheryl   

Oh, that’s such a good point. So how do you find out about that? I think a lot of parents assume, Oh, my kid, maybe they’re not a great student, they can’t get a scholarship. And so you don’t even ask the question of where do you go? And how do you begin to even think about, well, maybe my kid would qualify, I should look into this?

Brad

Yes. So absolutely. Right. And again, there are different levels of scholarship, right? Like the Bill Gates scholarship, and the Coca-Cola scholarship, those are highly competitive. You’ve got to be the rock star to win that scholarship. But if you do, it’s very generous. The Coca-Cola gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 90,000 applications from across the country, and they award 250 scholarships.

So If you go look at it, these are the kinds of kids that end up going to Harvard and Yale and other high-end schools, and they want to be doctors and lawyers. They’ve done stuff already, they’ve got something in their scholarship application about the charity they started or they are the movers and shakers of the class. So if you are a mover and shaker, by all means, put your hat in the ring.

But there’s also a scholarship to one called Stuck on Prom. And that is sponsored by a duct tape company, essentially, if you create a prom outfit out of duct tape, and wear it to prom and take your picture if they like what they see, it’s like a $10,000 scholarship. Even that one is a little bit competitive, they get, 1000 entrants and if you look at the winners, they have some duct tape talent, they’ve made some pretty amazing things out of duct tape.

So there are all kinds of different types of scholarships out there. I’ve got a quick resource scholarship guide for busy parents, where it’s for quick videos to kind of get your feet wet to learn about the different options, and then give you the basic hierarchy, you certainly want to look for scholarships at any college you’re attended.

You don’t have to look far and wide, there’s only a couple of phone calls or an internet search or two. And you can look and see. And either you find them or you don’t. When you say well, my students are good at archery. Let’s go look for scholarships around archery. They’re out there. But it’s also wide-open, right? Where you could search the internet for hours and hours and hours, and maybe find some and maybe not.

You always feel like if I just spent a little more time clicking around, maybe I can find an even better deal. Eventually, you say, I think I’ve done the best I can do. I’ll just go ahead and buy this ticket and be done with it. And maybe if I keep shopping, I could have saved 100 bucks. Maybe not. But it’s that same thing with scholarships,  I’ve looked for 10 hours, I found these 10 Is that enough?

It depends on if your student has unique things, they compete at the state level on archery. They’ve got a black belt in judo. They’re an ice skater, whatever, all those types of things you can search on. There are things out there for cancer survivors and women in engineering and all kinds of different things. So it’s wide open.

But if your kid plays football, he doesn’t start but he’s on the team. And he plays some of the games. And he’s got a solid B average. And he’s pretty good at Xbox. There are scholarships for that kid. There are also a million kids qualified for that same scholarship. So your competition is kind of stiff. So if you can find a way to narrow it down that is always helpful. Another great example.

While we’re on scholarships, there’s a scholarship somewhere in Florida, there are four counties, where if you’re going to these particular nursing schools, and you come from these particular counties, they’ve got some crazy generous scholarships because they’re short nurses in those counties and love to get more nurses trained.

I haven’t looked extensively, but I stumbled across that and said, Wow, that happens a lot. Some wealthy alumni pass away and they set up a scholarship at a particular college. They say, Well, this is in honor of my wife who graduated with an education, and she came from Milwaukee. So that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna say education majors from Milwaukee, are eligible for this full scholarship. Just a random thing where, if you happen to be coming from Milwaukee and attending St. Louis University, let’s say, and you’re studying education, all of a sudden, you get a shot at a scholarship, and maybe you’re the only one or maybe there’s only three or four of you.

Sheryl   

Yeah, cuz nobody, nobody’s looking. It’s a winner.

Brad

Right? Exactly. So there’s all that kind of stuff. But that could be a rabbit hole of a lot of time and effort. So I’ve seen a lot of parents talk about it, but they never actually do much with it. Again, because it’s a lot of work. When we talked about when should you get started? That would be a great example of why you’d start earlier. I had a family, they applied to 41 scholarships, they won seven for $39,000.

That’s a great story but if you think about it, how long does it take to do 41 scholarship applications. This is not something they knocked out in one Sunday afternoon, this was many Sunday afternoons. And in this situation, the parents helped, and hopefully didn’t write the essays. But they did, organize stuff and keep track of deadlines.

All these scholarships have unique requirements,  make three copies of your application and mail it here, or fill out this online form over here and do it electronically hopefully, they helped with that, and they help find them. Again, hopefully, they didn’t do the stuff the student was supposed to do. But that was a large family project. And if that’s something you want to pursue, and you think it’ll make sense, well, then you got to get started your junior year, or sophomore year, even. Then a lot of cases, maybe your student isn’t even ready. But as a parent, you can start thinking about it.

Sheryl   

Yeah, start looking into it, because it’s stressful, kids can drag their feet. I know very few out of the hundreds of moms I work with, that the kids have filled all this out. Even though they do want to go to college, they’re dragging their feet and their parents are now on and writing. So starting earlier.

Brad

Right, exactly. And to be fair to the students, raising 10s, of 1000s of dollars is something they’ve never done before. And searching and finding and applying for scholarships is something they’ve never done before. And it’s not like they don’t want to do it, necessarily, but they’re busy, right? They’ve got at this and that promise coming, and they’ve got college applications, and they’ve got lots of stuff.

And so the time they do spend on scholarships, a lot of times they’re not very effective, because they don’t really know what to do or how to do it. And that’s where a parent being involved might be able to get the ball rolling at least a little easier.

Parents may not know what to do and how to do it either. But if your idea of getting scholarships is every other Saturday morning, when you see your students say hey, you get to work on scholarships. It’s your job. But that’s the extent of it, it’s probably not going to work. It’s just going to be a stressful situation. But if you’re willing to, sit next to them, and strategize, watch my scholarship guide, (it’s free), watch that together, and then talk with your student and decide, is this something we should be pursuing?

There are levels to it, you’re probably gonna no matter what pursue scholarships at the colleges you’re attending, and probably no matter what scholarships at the high school you come from because those are all relatively easy. But once you get beyond that, now, it gets to be a much wider potential search.

Sheryl   

Yeah. But what I’m hearing you say is, is doing something rather than nothing is important. Even if you go look at the college. How many parents do you know that really will go and make an appointment to go meet with the financial aid office?

Brad

Exactly. There’s so much you can do. It’s really figuring out what you should do. I tell people you’re going to pay for college three ways: you pay for it with money, with time, and with stress. There’s a limit to how much you’re going to do because it just gets too stressful. And you’re just gonna say it’s just not worth it. There are a lot of variables around, what your family finances look like for need-based aid. What your academic profile looks like for merit aid. Are you interested in the local state schools? Many kids are like, I don’t want to go to anything local, because it’s too close to home. Well, now, we just added an extra layer of all the schools that we might apply to? Are they going to be road trips, or is it going to be three hours away? Or is it an airplane flight?

Sheryl   

Yeah, that’s another expense. You have to factor that in too.

Brad

I’ve worked with families with twins and quads. And I just recently talked to a family that has twin juniors and twin sophomores. They’re going to have four kids in college at once. They’re gonna have to economize, they can’t go 4 different directions. A parent of one student could maybe go to all six colleges on the list. But if we have four kids with six colleges on the list, and they don’t overlap at all, it’s nearly impossible to visit 24 colleges.

The sophomore year is a great time for families to figure out the financial side of things. Again, your student may not be ready to talk about college, but wouldn’t stop you from figuring out what the local state schools look like, what they cost or what the local private schools that you might consider. Then you get your students ready. So if you have a junior right now, and even a sophomore, start laying out some plans.  I told my family all the time, your goal is to have a working school list by the end of the junior year.

Sheryl   

Okay, that’s good.

Brad

These are the five to 10 schools, we might be applying to two or three or five, but these are the schools we’re thinking about. Maybe we’ll take one-off and add one. But these are schools. And ideally, these are schools that you’ve at least visited or done some virtual work with, you’ve done some preliminary pricing, so you know that the price will be reasonable, whatever that means for your situation. So that when you roll into the senior year, your new list to work on you’re applying for financial aid, you’re applying for admission, you’re doing all kinds of stuff.

Brad

Ideally, you do early in your senior year. And if you’re still trying to visit schools, and you have no idea how the financing is going to go, and you’re doing all of that on top of applying, it can be done. Lots of families do it because they don’t know any better. 

I talk to a lot of parents that have juniors and when they start having to take to the admissions test, the ACT, and SAT, all of a sudden they realize it’s coming fast. So if you have a sophomore or even freshman, start thinking about it if you can.

Divide it into what I call early stage and late stage. If you have a sixth-grader, that’s early stage, maybe we should save or invest. Maybe we should figure out some budget, that kind of stuff. But it’s way too early to pick majors, schools, any of that stuff. That’s what the early stage is about as the parents get their life in order around college. Late-stage is if you’ve done a great early stage, and let’s say you have a big pile of money now because you saved and did great.

You’re still gonna have to do late-stage planning because now it’s testing. Are you taking the ACT, SAT, are you gonna do test-optional? What’s your strategy, they’re visiting the colleges, filling out the financial aid forms, picking colleges, all that stuff has to be done, whether you’ve done a great job saving or not. A lot of families don’t start till the end of junior year. And I’d like to recommend that you at least by the beginning of the junior year, hit the ground running if you can.

Sheryl   

Well, so this is so helpful, Brad, and just all that you offer. Tell them about your resources because you have so many resources on your website and you have courses, and they can reach out to you. If I’m in the early stages, and I want to make sure that I’m prepared, I highly recommend they go to your website and check stuff out. So tell them how can they find you? And then I’ll put it in the show notes.

Brad

So everything is available at tamingthehighcostofcollege.com. There’s a tab called resources that’ll get you to the price of colleges by state that we mentioned, I’ve got an EFC calculator that can help you with need-based aid scholarship guide and for busy parents, there’s a link to that as well.

So a number of resources are there. I podcast, another great thing to do is just, while you’re folding laundry, or in the carpool or whatever, listen to a podcast or two and learn about all the other stuff that you’re just going to have to learn about.

Sheryl   

Well, thank you so much for what you’re doing, because we do need help. I think when you do get help, that holds you accountable. It is overwhelming, at least it was for my husband, it can be an overwhelming process, and getting that help, can make a huge difference.

Brad

You know quite a bit about college now, unfortunately, all that knowledge is not really useful for you anymore, because your kids are done.

Sheryl   

Yeah. This is the last check we’re gonna have to write.

Brad

There you go. Right. So now you’re the expert, but you don’t need it. Where you really needed is upfront.

Sheryl   

It would have saved a lot of money. We got a little support, but when I saw everything that you offer, I was like, that would have just been so helpful. So thank you again, Brad. Really appreciate you coming on the show.

Brad

Thanks for having me.

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