Education 
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5 Community Colleges That Cost More Than Four-Year Schools

Expensive Community CollegesIn general, two-year and community colleges are a smart way to land some hefty college savings. According to the College Board, a student at a public two-year college pays, on average, approximately one-third in tuition and fees of what an in-state student at a public four-year school pays. While the vast majority of two-year students do pay substantially less than their four-year counterparts, there are exceptions. Using data from the Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center and updating it with more recent net price figures, we’ve determined that these two-year schools have the highest net prices.

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 Cars 
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Kids & Money: Are You Prepared for a Teen Driver?

Teen Driver.One of the scariest prospects that many parents face is that of having a teen driver. Many of us worry about what happens when our kids are old enough to drive. My son is still more than six years away from his driver’s license, but it’s something that I think about from time to time.

Teen drivers cost more to insure than most adults, so you have to take that aspect of the situation into account. On top of that, you also need to review your liability coverage, since your teen’s auto accident could result in having your own assets tapped if the damage is severe enough. Your auto insurance situation has the potential to become very different once the kids start learning to drive.

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 Education 
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Save Money on School: Start at a Community College

College GraduationFor many parents and students, the cost of college is one of the most daunting expenditures likely to be faced. The cost of a four-year degree keeps rising, and if the student goes on to graduate school, the expenses continue to pile up even higher.

One way to reduce the cost of an education is to start out at a less expensive school. Community colleges offer a number of advantages that can help you get a good start on your education, while costing you less.

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 Your Take 
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Your Take: Is College Worth It?

After our recent series of interviews with college savings expert, I started to wonder about the value of college. It’s an issue we’ve discussed in the past (verdict was yes… depending on what you studied of course! But we also had a Devil’s Advocate post explaining why college isn’t worth it.) but with college costs rising to nearly astronomical rates, it’s no longer automatic. The Economist, in 2010, looked at how a “PhD is often a waste of time.” in 2011, the New York Times’ David Segal looked at how law school was a losing game. When people point to law school and PhDs as “not being worth it” then it calls into question the idea of higher education.

Looking back to my college years, I felt that college was worth it. I graduated, got a good job in the defense industry, and had I followed that track to its eventual conclusion, I’d say I would’ve had a successful professional career. Based on what I do now, I suspect my post-secondary education probably has a smaller impact but an impact nonetheless. There’s something to be said about academic adversity, even if it’s not fun to experience. :)

Do you think college is worth it?


 Personal Finance 
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College Savings Tips: Interview With Peter Mazareas Part Two

Peter Mazareas, College Savings FoundationYesterday, we started our discussion with Peter Mazareas, Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation, about saving for college and today we’re happy to bring you the conclusion of that interview. We talked about things that parents can do, even if their kids are still very young, as well as what they should avoid.

In part two, we’ll take a look at how things have changed. As someone who went through this process just a little over ten years ago, so much has changed. I can’t imagine how it’ll look in twenty, but Peter helps us look into the “far” future and near future of college savings and provides us a wealth of information.

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 Education 
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College Saving Tips: Interview with Peter Mazareas Part One

Peter Mazareas, College Savings FoundationLast week, we discussed the topic of college savings with Gary Hoover and Warren Smith. Today, we also have the pleasure of speaking with Peter Mazareas, Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation. The College Savings Foundation is a not for profit organization that is helping American families achieve their education goals by working with policy makers, media, and the financial services industry in support of education savings programs. As Chairman Emeritus, Peter had unique insight into the full scope of educational savings opportunities, and this first part of our chat I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions on how families can best save for college and what families can do today to improve their chances.

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 Your Take 
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Your Take: Survey Shows Delay in Life Milestones for Recent Graduates

A few months ago, the subject of a Your Take centered around which generation had the most debt (prompted by an infographic from Experian). In looking at the infographic, and how the younger generations had much higher levels of debt, I thought about the impact of student loan debt. The results of a recent survey by the College Savings Foundation showed that recent graduates are more likely to delay milestones of independence, such as getting married, having children and buying a house. When you are burdened with a significant amount of debt, it’s hard to get ahead and on with your life.

Highlights from the survey (recent graduate refers to someone who graduated in the last year):

  • 36% of recent graduates said they had to live with parents longer than expected
  • 40% of recent graduates were delaying when they would buy a house.
  • 19% of recent graduates were delaying when get married.
  • 21% of recent graduates were delaying when they would have children.
  • 70% of recent graduates were employed.

The survey discusses how these numbers compare with older graduates and in all cases the recent graduate numbers are higher, so it shows a trend that’s worsening, but I’m not surprised by it. My alma mater costs an eye popping $60,000 a year now and I graduated a scant ten years ago.

Next week, we’ll have a two part interview with Peter Mazareas, Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation. He shares a lot of good information about saving for college that I think anyone, from students to parents, will find extremely educational.

What do you think? Is college debt to blame? Or is it more about the economy? Or both?


 Personal Finance 
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College Savings Interview: Part Two

This is part two of our discussion with Gary Hoover, Ph.D., Professor of Economics/Assistant Dean of Faculty and Graduate Student Development for Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, and Warren Smith, Associate Professor of Economics at Palm Beach State College in South Florida, about the rising costs of a college education and what families and students can do to prepare themselves.

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