Parents - If You're Paying for College Do the Math

Parents - If You're Paying for College Do the Math

(ARA)- In these challenging financial times, parents make certain sacrifices to ensure they can navigate the crunch and provide their children with the things they need most. Given the frequent need for sacrifices when it comes to paying for college, parents owe it to themselves to make sure they focus on value. Securing the right education at the right price means "doing the math" to determine the real cost of a college education. While the reality check may not be pleasant, it can lead to considerable money saving decisions when it comes to funding a child's college education.
A few smart, simple rules can help families determine a realistic number to start budgeting for.
Math Rule 1 - Know Your Estimated Total Costs
Tuition is just one part of the total cost of college. It's important to factor in books, meals, housing, transportation and other expenses when making a college financial plan.
Math Rule 2 - Know the Impact of One Percentage Point of Interest and Shop Around for the Best Rate on Student Loans
If, after determining the total cost, you decide you need to borrow, keep in mind that even a small change in rate can make a substantial difference in the overall cost of a student loan.
Math Rule 3 - Understand the Impact of Your Repayment Decisions
While deferment of payments is something many students find desirable, interest accrual during this time can be costly. If you are able to, consider starting repayment immediately to keep interest costs down.
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