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hey guys we're here at Carey trailer founder and owner of college strategy experts and we're going to talk about the best strategies for funding college so Carrie college costs are obviously really high these days what's the best way to fund a college education yeah it's really really tough for all but the wealthiest families in America to pay for four years of college these days here in California for instance the full cost of attendance for even in state public four-year universities is really never lower than about 25 thousand dollars a year in state costs can be much lower in other states but costs for out of state colleges and universities can easily run you over forty thousand dollars per year and elite private colleges and universities these days often cost between fifty and seventy thousand dollars per year so the first thing I'll say is that you really should know a schools full sticker price before you decide to accept an offer of admission which would include not only tuition but other expenses like room and board student fees books and travel and where should I get this money from well obviously you don't want to go into debt unless you really have to so you and your family should estimate how much money they canna set aside each month out of their paychecks first of all to pay for college and then multiply this number by the 48 months that you'll be in college and that will give you an idea of what you can actually afford out of your family income then you should look at any savings or investments you can safely use to pay for college I say safely because any wise financial planner will tell you that you should have the equivalent of at least six months of income set away safely in an emergency fund to help you or your family through a rainy day if for instance you or your parents lose your job or you have an unusual expense such as high medical bills or car repairs so this emergency money is money you should not touch for college no matter what okay so first parents should estimate how much money they can set aside x that by 48 months they can also look at their savings or investments they could use to pay for college now what about retirement money should parents use that to pay for college yeah that's a real big issue your parents should really consider how much they will need to fund many years of retirement when they will not be working but still obviously need to pay their bills in my practice I really see far too many families these days who are trying initially to liquidate what little retirement money they have to pay for their students education and I really have to advise them against doing that you have to remember the old adage that you can get loans for education but you can't get them for retirement so in my practice I really advise parents against using any retirement savings to pay for college got it and what if I don't have any savings set aside or any ability to fund my education through my or my parents current income right and that happens a lot because college costs are so high so first of all you need to make sure that you explore all avenues for need-based grants and scholarships merit aid scholarships private scholarships because sometimes you'll be able to get enough assistance that the amount you actually have to pay or borrow is pretty low for any one institution next obviously you want to look at the federal student loan program and potentially your parents made you to look at the federal parent loan program which is called The Parent PLUS loan program basically undergraduate students can get between 27 and 31 thousand dollars in total loans over a four-year period under the federal student loan program and they can get these loans at an interest rate that's pretty reasonable so usually the rate on the student loans is going to be pretty much your cheapest form of borrowing that's definitely not true for the parent plus loan program those interest rates are pretty high so you have to be really careful in terms of how much debt your parents commit themselves to so but with the student loans you know twenty-seven thousand dollars is really not enough to fund for years of education at most American colleges and universities today unfortunately that amount of loan money is merely a drop in the bucket for a lot of schools and that's why parents end up taking out a lot of loans as well and can parents borrow the same amount as students can no actually parents can borrow a lot more money than students can they can borrow up to a school's full cost of attendance minus any aid package their student is receiving from that school but again the interest rates a lot higher for the parent loans so I'm sure you've all heard or read about how many parents get themselves in trouble by borrowing more than they can possibly afford to pay back remember that both student and parent loan debts cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy court so that loan debt will really follow parents and students to their graves if they're not able to pay it back and interestingly enough the federal government doesn't really assess your ability to pay loans back when they disperse these loans to students and parents they will run a credit check but that credit check doesn't really tell them anything about you or your parents future ability to repay the loan got it no that makes sense so what factors should students consider and thinking about how much that is too much yeah so you just have to be really careful about determining what you can actually afford over the long run as a student one thing you've really got think about is what your salary might look like in the ten years after you graduate from college because that's the period during which you're going to be repaying your loans back unless you renegotiate the terms with the federal government to come up with what's called an income-based repayment schedule right so sometimes you can extend the repayment period from 10 years to a much longer time period so these days given that college class so much it is such a huge investment you really have to look at what field or profession you're going to be involved in and ask yourself whether the investment you're making in your education will pay off over the long term in terms of your income and remember that some professions command a lot higher salaries than others so for instance if you're going to be a starving artist you might need to be more careful about how many loans you take out versus you know if you're going to be a really well paid business person or doctor or lawyer