Getting In Is Only Half The Battle

So in addition to your IRA, 401K, and just about every other investment tanking, now the New York Times published an article this weekend about some of the problems that prepaid college tuition plans are feeling.

I always thought of the state sponsored prepaid tuition plans as totally safe investments. However, the NYT article is discussing some things like plans adding new fees, closing to new investors, and in one case a state is developing a “doomsday scenario” for their fund.

The entire article can be found here. has an article with some non-sugar-coated truths about the sacrifices involved with sending your child to College. The article reviews some information given out at a recent preparing for college seminar that was offered to parents.


“You’re going to have a big out-of-pocket cost as a family, no matter what,” said Chuck Drawbaugh, the owner of College Funding Associates, an advisory group in Rumson.

Topics covered in said article include:

  • Rising tuition
  • Congressional plans
  • Offering advice

Here’s a bit of a follow-up on an article I posted a few days ago on new ideas for college financing. College is so expensive that it really dwarfs just about anything else you might buy except a house.

My first post linked to one measly little article with a couple of ideas. Well here’s a whole lot more, and I actually think that these have a whole lot better chance of paying off.

First off we have “Nine Unique Way To Pay For College”. This article outlines several way to make money ONLINE. None of this stuff is exactly easy, but requires some hustle and might very well not pay off, but if can find a niche, your odds improve greatly.

  1. Blogging (haha, I’ll let you know how this one is working)
  2. AdSense
  3. Help others find jobs
  4. Videos
  5. Freelance
  6. Games
  7. Paid Reviews
  8. Stock Photography
  9. eBay

Next, we have’s 7 alternative ways to pay for college. This article is really about reducing your expenditures than making money for college per se. These ideas are imminently doable. For example, I’ve known probably a dozen friends who did their first 2 years at California Junior Colleges and then transferred to a regular 4-year University.

  1. Accelerate your degree
  2. Be a transfer student
  3. Go where you’re wanted
  4. Choose a tuition-free school
  5. Get a sponsor
  6. Lock in tuition
  7. Work off debt with community service

And rounding out our little trifecta here we have Kiplinger’s with a article called Smart Ways To Pay For College. Some of the ideas from this article are repeats of the previous, but there are at least 2 new suggestions as well. It’s worth a quick read.

The bottom line here is that there’s some non-traditional way to make money for school as well as non-traditional (and MUCH less expensive) paths to that degree. Keep informed and come up with a plan and start executing EARLY. Nobody is going to go out of their way to do this stuff for you.

As parents are scrambling to figure out some way — any way to afford to send their kids to college, one idea that keeps popping up is the prepaid tuition savings plan.

Basically these plans let you snapshot today’s tuition rate and pay that tuition for your child’s college education down the road.

I found this nifty little how-to article about pre-paid tuition plans on Yahoo Finance.

From a parent’s perspective I always kind of shied away from the idea of pre-paid tuition because I have no idea where my elementary-aged children will want to go.

What Does 50k/year buy you

Posted by administrator under College/University News

An Ivy League education will run you in the neighborhood of 50k per year, but what does it buy you? Could it possibly be worth it?

This Yahoo Finance/SmartMoney article from back in April gives us rundown of the Ivy League school and the cuts they’re undertaking as a result of the currently sucky economy.

In case you forgot, Ivy League Schools include:

  • Brown
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Dartmouth
  • Harvard
  • Penn
  • Princeton
  • Yale

So fooling around on the web today I found a search engine for Colleges and Universities called Campus Explorer.

This tools seems like a pretty decent first order filter for getting in the ballpark for schools.

This search engine lets you search for schools by type of school (2 year, 4 year, public, private, vocational), location, by major. And once you pull up a list you can filter by whatever criteria you wish. You can also create a profile if you want to save your preferences and your search results.

I liked the “calculate your chance of admission” widget as well.

Once you’ve selected a particular school this site provides a lot of general specific information about the school. Tuition, admission information, geographic area, a few pictures. Like I said, a good first order filter for getting an idea of which schools one might like to look at. And of course each entry has a direct link to the school’s website.

A link to Campus Explorer can be found here.

The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal has an article about some shall we say different ideas for college financing.

The article covers the standard stuff about how parents should start early, but also has a few new suggestions that I haven’t seen much of before.

Such as:

  • Buying a house (let the student rent it out)
  • Business owners hiring their kids (just read the article)

The full text of the article can be found here.

Got any “out of the box” ideas for financing college yourself? Why not post them below?

The Chicago Tribute has an article about how the stimulus package has affected not only some of the rules for 529 college savings plans, but federal tax credits for college costs.

Basically, money from your 529 account can be used for a few more “college related” things, and some of the college tax credits have been expanded.

The full article can be found here.

Make sure you check the IRS website before you decide that a new car is a college related expense.

FTV: “Most college essays are so full of crap you could plant a forest in them”

The “Sooo…Tell Me About Yourself” blog has some advice for would-be college interviewees. And that is to make it to your frikkin’ inteview on time.

Other little gems include:

  • “Don’t go to your admissions interview naked.”
  • “Answer your interviewer’s questions in English.”
  • “Don’t puke on the table.”

Okay, not really, but how about not getting lost and not being late for starters.

The full text can be found here.

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