Ep 148: The Biggest Financial Decision of Their Lives

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Deciding on a college is one of the biggest decisions teens will make in their lives. There are so many factors to consider. How big are the classes? Will they be able to make connections in their chosen field? What do the dorms look like? With so many different schools and so many majors, finding the right fit can feel impossible.

But there’s one aspect of the college search we don’t always talk about, even though it’s arguably the most important of all: the finances. We’re often so focused on helping young adults find a place that feels right or looks beautiful that we neglect to dive deep into how we’re going to foot the bill, in the present and down the line, in the case of loans.

And even if we do find a way to pay, we often don’t pause to consider whether the degree we’re paying for is going to deliver a return on investment! This is especially true for those of us who are taking out loans. If we’re going to be in debt, it’s wise to know if and when we’ll eventually be able to pay it off.

To really wrap our heads around college finances, we’re talking to Beth Akers, author of Making College Pay: An Economist Explains How to Make a Smart Bet on Higher Education. Beth is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an expert in the economics of labor and higher education. She believes that everyone should have access to comprehensive financial information about college, so they can avoid making a decision they regret.

In our interview, we’re breaking down why we often don’t talk about the financial aspects of choosing a college. We're also talking about how a student’s major affects their future prospects, and revealing a smarter way to go about taking out loans. If you’re searching for the best way to educate your kids without breaking the bank, this episode is for you!

Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode

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