Admissions officers are all salespeople. Ask questions and always do your own research prior to buying that degree.
Financial loan officers are salespeople too, attempting to get you into the most debt to get to that elite school.
Don’t play “keeping up with the Joneses either.” Avoid expensive colleges. Always negotiate for lower debt and tuition.
Avoid buying a new car. Keep driving the paid off one!
Avoid the crack dealer method, where your school awards you huge financial aid the first year and then jacks up the price the following three years (think: law school).
“never take someone at her word when she has a vested interest in lying to you”
Do not loot your retirement account or savings to pay for college.
– Set up a pay as you go monthly payment plan – ask financial aid or bursar’s office.
Resolution: Pay your own tuition and fees! Live below your means! And don’t get any loans!
What makes student loans so bad?
• It can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.
• It isn’t asset-backed—if you have trouble making student loan payments, sell an asset underlying to raise quick cash.
• It’s likely to have a negative impact on your child’s ability to choose a career that interests him.
• It will make it harder to start a family, get married, start your own business, buy a home, buy a car, and save for retirement.
• It’s a big, big loan. Sure, the terms on payday loans are more anti-consumer, but the denominations are usually relatively trivial compared to those of student loans.
Instead, consider following Dr. Marty Nemko’s advice on picking professors: call up the department secretary and ask which professors are the best. To get the best out of college, graduate early, don’t worry about what major you pick, keep opportunity costs in mind, interact/network with professors (treat them like friends by sending emails with links to articles you’ve read), do independent studies, externships, etc.
Save money on textbooks
Invest in college real estate.