First, the good news. A college education offers students substantial advantages in life. Part of it is financial. On average, college graduates earn $1.1 million more over their working lives than high school graduates with no college. College grads also find their lives enriched by broadened exposure to people of many different nations and cultures. They develop new skills in listening and reasoning, in analyzing and problem solving. They are likely to develop a broader range of friendships, many of which will turn into lifelong relationships that enhance their professional networking and social opportunities. Is it any wonder that families will work so hard, endure so much, and often sacrifice so much, to get their kids into the best colleges possible?
Now, for the other news. Over the last two decades college costs have risen at 7% per year-nearly twice the rate of general inflation. The cost of a four-year college education at many public universities now exceeds $100,000, and $250,000 at top-tier private colleges and universities. Per Child! To make matters worse, fewer than 25% of those who enroll in college complete degrees in four years. More than half of enrollees take 5-6 years to complete their degrees, thus adding to the overall cost of education. Unfortunately, we frequently see families whose college savings plans were decimated by the latest crisis in financial markets, or who, with the best of intentions, sold their stocks at the wrong time, broke into their retirement accounts, or borrowed in the wrong manner from the wrong sources.
Have you stopped to think how old you will be when your last child finishes college? For many families kids enter college just at the time their parents are starting to think seriously about preparing for retirement, and the question becomes, “Do I fund college for my kids or fund my retirement?” What if there were a way to economically pay for college and fund your retirement? There is a way, and we can help!
The good news is that Sage College Planning is here to guide students and families through the maze of college admissions and funding! To obtain the best chance of graduating from a preferred school in four years, we guide students and families through the following stages: