Life Transitions

Helping Clients Navigate Life Transitions Part IV: College Education

by Tony DiLeonardi

"Talk may be cheap but intelligent conversation is very expensive these days.  Ask anyone with a kid in college." - Unknown

 According to the College Board, the average annual cost of a private four-year college is $29,056 for the 2012-13 school year.   While the annual cost of an in-state public four-year college is much lower at $8,655, multiplying these figures by four (or five if the student opts to major in extracurricular activities) results in a hefty final price tag your clients need to prepare for.  Keep in mind that these figures just account for tuition and fees!  Make sure their planning accounts for other costs―room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

 Help your clients get on the right path by reviewing the various ways to help finance their children's education. Depending on their timeframe, discuss options of saving versus borrowing, available scholarships, grants, student loans and any potential tax breaks.  

At the end of the day, the more you help your clients prepare for these expenses, the more your congratulations card to the graduate will be appreciated.