Is College Expensive? You Have No Idea. Really, You Don’t.

Our kids are in trouble. Big trouble. In every other generation in recent history, children have done better than their parents. They get more education, have better jobs, make more money, and live longer. Until now. Children growing up today are in the first generation that will be doing worse than their parents in just about every measurable area. And perhaps the most obvious sign of this changing tide is how families are adjusting their college dreams.

According to the just-released College Savings Indicator study (done by Fidelity Investments), only 31 percent of parents with kids headed for college have adequately considered how much college will cost, the impact of graduating with a crushing debt load, and how the choice of major could affect future employment prospects. Translation, 69 percent have not had the 21st Century version of “the talk.”

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Tax issues for divorced parents

Really excellent article in the current Smart Money magazine on Tax-Related Tax Breaks After Divorce. Well worth the read:

College tuition sticker shock

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I took our teenage son, a high-school senior, to visit a few of the colleges he’d like to apply to. For the most part they seemed great, everything a parent could want for his child—except affordable! How does anyone afford college these days?

A: I’m so glad you wrote—my daughter and I just came back from a similar trip and I was amazed that admissions directors could actually say the words, “$52,000 per year” with a straight face. Unfortunately, though, tuition sticker shock is no joke. According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, two-thirds of four-year students graduate with an average student loan debt of nearly $20,000. One-fourth of those students borrow $24,936 or more, while a tenth borrow $35,213 or more. Those figures are probably a little lower for state schools, a lot higher for private schools.

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