If someone in your family expects to be attending college in the next year or so, this piece at Time magazine‘s site is a must-read:

Three Strategies for Saving Money on College That May Not Work as Promised.

The discussions points are: community college transfers to university, attending a public school rather than a private one, and working your way through college.

Time calls each of them “a bit simplistic, flawed, and perhaps even misleading,” given the complexities involved with today’s college and work environments. I agree with the points made in the article, and here’s why:

The success of a credit transfer depends on the degree program a student has selected as the long-range goal. Scholarships in multiple directions are more likely to be available to freshmen than upperclassmen or transfer students. Private school financial aid may be enough to more than cover the difference as compared to the cost of a public school. And part-time work is a great idea to help students with expenses, but it’s increasingly difficult to “work your way” through college given the trend toward unpaid internships.

You will find lots of background material and discussion points in my archives under the Cash for College and the Student Loan Crisis sections.

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