Today is the day... May 1 marks the beginning of a new chapter for those accepted to college. They've researched, visited, applied, received notifications, and finally made a decision.
But, reality sets in. Now they actually have to come up with the money!? Or do they?
The bottom line is that the vast majority of those 'consumers' don't know how to buy. They are so swept up by the dream that the financial aid award letter catches them off-guard. They are disappointed, perhaps devastated to learn that there will be a sizable gap between what they hoped to pay and what they will have to pay.
So what do most do? They make rash decisions and either jump into inappropriate, incompatible financial products or they actually consider changing the college plan itself. Others just accept the fate bestowed upon them and end up struggling more than they need to... for many years out. Ouch!!
Now what should you do? Our self-declared "financial aid geek," and Goldberg Center Education Financing Director, Nina Flood, described a myriad of strategies in a corporate presentation just the other day. College aid for students comes in many forms and she urges clients to carefully and objectively examine and evaluate loan programs. The problem is that colleges themselves are highly discouraged from steering families to particular lenders due to the student loan scandal and then there are the sharks out there who claim to advise objectively, yet hawk their own wares to make commissions.
If you want completely unbiased, unattached advice, hop on over to our May Day! Paying for College Promotion and sign up to chat with Nina. She's seen it all and will be virtually giving away her life lessons from over 25 years as a financial aid officer (Brandeis & BU) and education lending expert. And tell a friend or two if you think they could benefit as well.