Use This Nifty Net Price Calculator To Estimate College Expenses

how to determine what your favorite college will really cost after accounting for scholarships and financial aid



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The price of a college education has never been higher. According to the College Board, the average private college now costs over $34,000 per year. And that’s just for tuition and fees. Throw in room and board, books, and other expenses for four years and the total cost could exceed $250,000 by the time your future scholar walks across the graduation stage.

To complicate things, every school is different. Prices vary. Scholarship opportunities and financial aid vary as well. As I have said before, financial aid varies from school to school, family to family, and even student to student within the same family.

Even if you don’t believe you will qualify for any financial aid, you will want to use this nifty calculator to get an estimate of what you can expect to pay at the specific schools your student is considering. 

What Are Your Chances of Winning An Athletic Scholarship?


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The MN Lynx recently won their fourth WNBA title. Way to go ladies! No doubt, most of these talented athletes played basketball in college. I am sure quite a few of them also received scholarship money, maybe even so-called “full rides”, to play their sport at the college level and help fund their education.
If you are the parent of a young student-athlete you may be wondering if your child could qualify for an athletic scholarship to help pay for college.

In the free guide, My Favorite College Planning Tools and Resources, which can be downloaded from my website, I share several of my best resources for parents who want to pay less for their kids’ college education. One of my favorites is

5 Steps Parents Must Take This Month To Pay Less For College Next Year

My kids started back to school on September 5th, the day after Labor Day. For our family, the day after Labor Day marks a major shift in our calendar – and our thinking!  After a long, fun summer filled with vacations, church camps and time spent with friends and family, it’s back to work, back to school, back to the regular routine. (And some would say, “not a moment too soon.”)

If any of your kids are starting their senior year in high school this year, you need to add, “it’s back to college planning” to that list. With the college financial aid deadlines looming, you need to act fast if you want to get your kids into a school that is not only a good academic fit, but one that is a good financial fit as well.

Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Eclipse Your Kids’ Financial Future

In light of this week’s solar eclipse and the astronomical amount of student loan debt many young people accumulate these days, I thought you might enjoy this re-post from February of 2016. If you are a parent or grandparent with high school or college aged kids and you are struggling with how to pay less for college, download My Favorite College Planning Tools on the right side of this web page, and click the Speaking & Events tab at the top of the page for a list of times and dates of my fall college planning workshops.

The Bridge will return with all new, original content on September 6th.

Student Loan Interest Rates on The Rise

Interest rates for student loans are reset each year. Starting July 1 interest rates for new borrowers of Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans will rise to 4.45%. That’s up from 3.75% the previous year.

Direct Subsidized Student Loans are those in which the government pays the interest while the student is in school. These loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Typically this means the Total Cost of Attendance at the school your student attends exceeds your Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA form. Even families with fairly high incomes and significant assets may have need at many private colleges and universities.