A WisMed Financial client reduced their daughter’s 4-year college cost from $170,803 to less than $30,000 total! If your child will be a junior or senior this fall, you may be planning some college visits this summer. During those visits, you’re probably evaluating quality of school and campus life. Let’s evaluate cost too.
However, the sticker price of college is virtually meaningless! Schools use one of three formulas to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is being replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI) so you may encounter that term as well. The EFC is the amount the school believes the family can afford to pay.
Here’s the client’s EFC math for the private school of their choice.
$77,841 sticker price - $41,000 EFC = $36,841 need
$36,841 need x 97% need met by school x 93% need met with school grants = $33,234 grants
$77,841 sticker price - $33,234 grants = $44,607 cost per year
With inflation adjustments and the discount for a second child attending college in three years, this family was facing a total cost of $170,803 to send their oldest daughter to a 4-year school.
But wait! Their daughter has strong academics: a 33 ACT, 1470 on the SAT and 3.84 unweighted GPA. Using this, we searched for schools that provided the best merit scholarship and found three schools to add to their list.
University of Miami = $13,980
University of Texas at Arlington = $943
Texas A&M University = $28,071
Believe it or not, these totals are for four years, not the cost of each year.
Not only were these schools much less expensive, two of the three schools had a higher Forbes ranking than the private school they chose.
If you have a college-bound child, access your complimentary College Money Report™ to understand:
- How much colleges think you can afford
- If your child qualifies for grants and/or scholarships
- How much you will be expected to pay out of pocket
If you haven’t yet, be sure to also download the complimentary Physician Financial Guide from wismedfinancial.org
For personalized help eliminating debt, investing smart and securing retirement, please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® 608.442.3750.
Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®
WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society.
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