Saturday, June 4, 2016

Start the College Affordability Talk By 9th Grade

Today’s fantastic family finance article is:

The College Cost Conversation Starting Line

“Mom, Dad, how much money do you make?”

Awkward? Get used to it. By 9th grade.

Why? Your teen needs to know what to be shooting for when it comes to college. In under 4 years, your child will be making one of the biggest financial decisions of her life. She needs all the financial facts on the table ahead of time to make an intelligent one.

  • What are you able and willing to kick in for college?
  • How much does your teen need to save, borrow, earn, or win to fill the gap?
  • What’s a reasonable target? Community college? Local state school? Private college? Community college followed by a transfer? (Excellent option!)
  • How long will it take for her to pay off any student loans after graduating?

Looking for a good resource to help you start framing the awkward money discussions with your kids? Check out Ron Lieber’s bestselling book, The Opposite of Spoiled.

Still worried about divulging your financial info to your teen? Get over it. You’ll be coughing it up for the FAFSA form in 12th grade anyway.

And senior year is too late to start putting together a sensible plan. Start today.


  1. I have been telling my kids since they were young, you need to go to college, and if you are smart enough to go to college you can be smart enough to figure out how to pay for it without loans and your parents! People need to really reconsider the value of college and how to go through college without a massive bill. Good grades and strong SAT scores help to get merit scholarships.

  2. I agree Rocky that with enough information, planning, determination, and flexibility, parents and kids can work together to find very affordable routes for an excellent college education. I think the route through community college and onto a university is often overlooked. The introductory level courses are often just as good at either place but way more affordable at community college. You just have to do some advance research to make sure the units are transferrable.