A USA Today poll on Twitter found that parents seek advice on how to pay for college from:
1. financial advisor—30%
2. friends and family—29%
3. online research—25%
4. college financial aid office—16%
Financial advisor Derrick Kinney said college tuition could be one of the most expensive purchases a parent makes in their lifetime.
“It’s important to find a specialist who focuses on education planning. Not all advisors are created equal. Some of them are more retirement focused, some are investment focused, and some are specialists in higher education,” said Kinney.
He said those higher education experts focus on loans, grants and school financing.
“Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Just because a friend of yours son or daughter is going to the Ivy League school, doesn’t mean that it makes sense for your budget. Never sacrifice your retirement to put your son or daughter through college,” said Kinney.
He said now services available that will provide customized school financing, loan and grant research.
Just make sure to find the company's track record and success rate, and the cost you pay is a small point in terms of the total amount of loans and grants per child.
Students should consider federal, as well as private loans. Parents can invest money in a 529 fund designated for college tuition.