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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

December 31, 2012
Can You Afford College?

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Determine how much your family can afford for college, and ways to access additional funds for school.


Over their lifetimes, college graduates typically earn a half a million dollars more than high school grads. But, they also rack up student loans averaging $25,000 or more. Before enrolling, crunch the numbers. Each school posts a net price calculator on its website that includes tuition, fees, room and board and other expenses. It also factors in the impact of financial aid, work-study and other cost adjustments–based on your individual situation. These calculators aren't an exact apples-to-apples comparison, but they're a good start. A few quick tips: Apply for federal student aid before considering private loans; research salaries for graduates in your chosen field.

Bottom line: College education can provide tremendous advantages–just don't get saddled with too much debt.

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