Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
August 9, 2012
Look Who Is Borrowing the Most for College
The unrelenting cost of college is hitting upper-middle-class families hard. According to a front-page analysis today in The Wall Street Journal, it’s these families who are experiencing the largest rise in college-loan debt. In its analysis, the newspaper categorized upper-middle-income as households with yearly incomes in the 80th to 90th percentiles that range from $94,000 to $205,000. Among families with...
May 18, 2012
15 Ways to Cut the Cost of Borrowing
How can reduce your dependence on college loans? About this time last year, Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of FinAid and FastWeb, sent me some suggestions on how families can reduce their dependence on college loans. I am running the suggestions again along with links to some of my college blog posts that I’ve written on the same topics. Here are...
April 8, 2011
When You Don’t Have Enough Money for College
I’ve had a lot of parents asking me lately about whether they should give the green light to their children, who have been accepted into expensive schools without enough financial aid. In response, I want to share a cautionary post that I wrote for my other college blog over at CBS MoneyWatch. Here is part of that post: Here is...
August 9, 2010
College Loan Debt Just Passed Credit Card Debt!
Americans now owe more money on their college loans than they do on credit cards. I just read about that scary reality on The Wall Street Journal’s website. According to Mark Kantrowitz, the financial aid guru over at FinAid and Fastweb, Americans owe about $829.7 billion in student loans. In comparison, consumers owe $826.5 billion in revolving credit card debt....
May 30, 2010
New York University: Tale of 2 Students
Today I’m going to use New York University as a punching bag. I’m going to use NYU to illustrate how too many well-meaning families muddle through the college process and end up looking for the most highly ranked colleges without considering the price. Some of these families end up like Cortney Munna, a 26-year-old woman, who is facing nearly $100,000...
April 26, 2010
4 Things You Need to Know About Federal Student Loans
It’s that time of year when parents and students are thinking about college loans. A few days ago, I wrote a college blog post that answered this question: Federal Student Loans: Where Do I Apply? Today, I want to answer three questions about Stafford Loans, which are the most popular federal student loans. Here’s the first question: Question No. 1:...
February 17, 2010
The $555,000 College Debt Mistake
Recently I wrote posts that cautioned parents and students not to take on too much college debt. Why am I being a nag? College loan debt can be toxic. My Exhibit A is a family practitioner in Columbus, OH, Michelle Bisutte, who finished medical school with $250,000 in debt in 2003. Today her college loan levels have swelled to $555,000....
February 12, 2010
PLUS Loans: How Much Should Parents Borrow for College?
I wanted to follow up on yesterday’s post: How Much College Loan Debt Is Too Much? In that post I talked about what is an acceptable level of college loans that students should assume. That post prompted Stuart, a blog visitor, to ask me this question about PLUS loans: What about the parents? What is a reasonable amount of student...