Saving for College
Read the Fine Print
Many colleges claim their financial aid departments can meet most or all of a student’s financial needs for attending college. While that sounds great, very few can actually come through on that promise at least the way it sounds. Many schools provide grants and scholarships in short, free money to help defray the cost of college, but most also include other programs like student loans and work-study programs in the mix. So while a financial aid department may be able to put together a package that keeps a student from owing anything today, someday loans must be paid back.
One simple way to evaluate a school’s financial aid track record is to check the breakdown of grants versus loans. Collegeboard.com lists that breakdown by school. Don’t assume that “full” really means “full,” especially for the long term.