Students and their parents frequently start our discussion with their most urgent question: how much will "it" cost. They beg me to keep expectations realistic, and to cut colleges that are "too expensive" off their list.
I require everyone to ignore price until later. By all means, I am happy to engage in discussions about how much cash a family can afford. Normally, that is a fairly short discussion a few of my clients can easily write a check for the full "sticker price" of any college; but most of us mere mortals can afford much less than the $20,000 - $65,000 per year that most four-year colleges list as their "sticker price." Indeed, $65K is more than the 2015 United States median household income of $55,775.
There is an incredible online resource for families to get a sense of how much college may cost: The College Scorecard. You should see it for yourself. Here's how:
How does that work? Stay tuned for a future post.
Shepherding our children to adulthood demands our love, our attention, and our acceptance of who they are.