As we enter autumn, the leaves start to change and students arrive at college campuses across the country. For parents, as well as for students, the start of the academic year raises the specter of some of the largest costs that a family incurs. Hopefully, families have started to prepare for college costs far ahead of the years of attendance, but the sheer size of the expenses may be pretty daunting even for those who have saved since their children are very young. Continue reading
Guest post by Contributing Editor, Matthew Amster-Burton, Mint.com.
Anyone who has read my previous columns about paying for college knows that I’m a student debt hawk. Student loans in their current form are dangerous: it’s too easy to borrow massive quantities; they can almost never be discharged in bankruptcy; and students and parents rarely understand what kind of quicksand they’re getting into.
At the same time, a “buy now, pay later” system makes sense. We have all sorts of public subsidies for college tuition, including the federal student loan program, because having an educated population benefits everyone. Continue reading