You see, college is a purchasing decision that should be made in accordance with a buy-sell process reflecting the significance and importance of the purchase. Few people engage the college in this context, rather, most people act like they are buying a color television, just looking for the top brand and all too willing to pay the asking price. But a color television can be easily discarded or replaced, not so with a college education. If families would pursue the college process in the same deliberate, well-planned, negotiated way they do when buying a house, they could save thousands on college costs and improve their outcomes. But they don’t, and why not?
· They don’t see it as a purchasing decision, rather they view it as an obligation
· They’re not familiar with the selling-side of the equation, aka the college perspective
· They’re not even familiar with the buying-side of the equation, the parent responsibility
· It’s not their college, they don’t have to live there; if it were, the process would change
· The college decision is often emotionally decided upon, driven by family pressures, not desired outcomes
· Finally, too many college decisions are left to guesswork and random chance
Each of these reasons reflect a weak position of parents and the colleges know it, exploit it, and laugh their way to the bank leaving families in debt and parents complaining. This is all too typical and predictable.
What can you do about it? You can learn the college perspective, understand the big business of college, and know what they want from you. You can focus on desired outcomes and financial goals. You can choose to work from a position of knowledge and strength. Altogether, this could save you thousands on college costs in helping to get college right.
Here are 4 of our top strategies for saving on college costs, with 4 more to come next week, all coming from our book- Dissecting the Big Business of College.
1. Work from a college list built around a student’s qualifications and interests, along with the parents interests and needs; tip- this can’t be left to a computer-program or Naviance
2. Differentiate yourself by building unique credentials beyond grades and SAT/ ACT scores (everyone has these); hot tip- create a blog site related to your interest in college studies
3. Get started early, be involved, engaged, and proactive in becoming known in the admission office; tip- don’t be a “stealth-applicant”
4. Have a plan and strategy to submit applications, applying early (by Labor Day) for preferred admission acceptances and higher scholarships; tip- add colleges in the mix which will establish a platform of affordability
My advice- don’t get away from treating this as a buy-sell process. You are in the market to purchase educational services while the college is in the business of selling educational services. You are the buyer and client; they are the seller and provider. However, they will never let you feel like a client. It’s up to you, the parent, to turn that around. Yes, it takes strength, not weakness; knowledge, not ignorance; and, action, not indecision. Weakness, ignorance, and indecision will compromise your child’s college options and put your family finance at risk. Strength, knowledge, and action will create advantages for getting college right and saving college costs.
CollegeLogic leads the pathway for families to get college right and save on college costs.
To find out how we do it, call or email us today.
Speaking of getting ahead, this book is an absolute must read if you would like to save on college costs-
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