- Series: Sallie Mae How to Pay for College: A Practical Guide for Families
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Supercollege, Llc; Third Edition, Third edition edition (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932662987
- ISBN-13: 978-1932662986
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,839,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sallie Mae How to Pay for College: A Practical Guide for Families Third Edition, Third edition Edition
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However, the book seems to be aimed at people who have a high school student and have not saved anything yet and don't really know how to save money period. It is not for people who know how to be frugal and save money and wanted to get started early putting that money in the right place.
We have a relatively high income, and I got this book to figure out if we could qualify for financial aid, how to maximize financial aid, and if we did not qualify, what other savings options we have. There is a chapter titled 'Even the millionaire next door can qualify for financial aid." It told me absolutely nothing. Only the assertion that everyone can qualify so don't count yourself out. That sort of unsupported statement is totally worthless to me for planning purposes.
It gives a rule of thumb of saving 40% of your income towards college. However, it does not specify why or for how long. If I were to start now saving 40% of my income, and then have a second child, should I then save 80% of my income? That is of course ridiculous, so I assume that the rule of thumb is based on the unspoken assumption that your child is 18.
There are call-out boxes from "real financial aid officers" throughout the book, but each of them seems to say only "You should save for college." Yes, yes, that's why I got the book - any actual information you can give me? It also spends a fair amount of time talking about how to budget and be frugal (maybe you should make coffee at home instead of buying a frapuccino at Starbucks). Again, I know how to save money in general, I wanted to know the best way to invest this money for college. This book is several hundred pages long but only has a few pages worth of information answering that question.
Over the years I have read hundreds of books on college planning. Of those only a very small percentage make it into my permanent collection of useful references. This book not only made it into my collection but I consider it to be the "best of the best."
Why? Because it honestly lays out the challenges of paying for college faced by most families and then systematically presents realistic solutions. The authors do not present their solutions in a dogmatic fashion but give the reader all of the options to let the individual family choose the best solution for their situation. This is very important since many books give cookie-cutter solutions, which just do not work in the real world.
Is it ironic that one of the best books on paying for college comes from Sallie Mae - a provider of student loans? Maybe. But the fact remains that Sallie Mae has put together a terrific resource. You won't find "plugs" for loans. In fact, you get just the opposite. The book makes it clear that loans are your last option and it encourages you to find scholarships, apply for financial aid, and perhaps the most underappreciated way to pay for college - save money. The one chapter on student loans is very informative and like the rest of the book presents options rather than directs you into a preconceived direction.
"How to Pay for College" earned a permanent place on my bookshelf and I recommend it to the students and parents at my school.
Not only does this book explain the financial aid process better than anything else I have read but it also addresses important topics like scholarships and college savings. The scholarship chapter is a real standout in my opinion and I made it required reading for my children who will need to do their part to help pay for their educations.
Throughout the book are interviews with financial aid officers from different colleges. These really helped me to see how that college can actually help.
While we still have a lot of hard work ahead I am confident that we can meet the challenge. I highly recommend this book to every family who is struggling with the cost of college.
Most recent customer reviews
information. Highly recommend it to anyone with kids going to college in the next couple of years.