You've looked forward to your senior year for the last three years — maybe longer. Dreamed of what you'd wear to prom. Imagined walking across the stage to grab your diploma.
But as your last year in high school comes to a close, you're missing out on a lot. Your whole life has been turned upside down. And you don't have to pretend that it's okay.
Knowing whether it's cheaper to live on or off campus isn't always straightforward.
The answer will depend on a number of factors, like the housing market near your college, whether you'll need transportation, and if you'll be on a meal plan. Another big consideration? Whether you'll need to sign a 12-month lease for an off-campus rental.
Enrollment at community colleges is growing—and for good reason. Many community colleges offer a quality education for a much smaller price tag.
You might think that because community college typically costs less, you can't receive financial aid to attend. But fortunately, that's not the case. You're eligible for the same types of financial aid at a community college that you would be at a four-year institution.
No parent wants to have the dreaded "helicopter parent" insult thrown their way. So you step back during the college decision process as much as you can, biting your tongue about how much you'll miss them if they go to college on the other side of the country or why they're writing a college application essay on their favorite video game.
It's a delicate balance, but one place you really shouldn't keep your mouth shut?
The price tag.
If you're looking at your kids' classmates and wondering how their parents are paying for college, you're definitely not alone.
With the cost of higher education rising at exponential rates, the tuition prices facing parents are, at best, overwhelming. No one would blame you if thinking about paying your kids' college tuition made you want to just climb back into bed and pull the covers over your head.
When it comes to student loans, it's often a question of whether you should pay more now or later. If you pay more now, you'll be out of debt faster and pay less in interest. If you opt to pay less now in favor of having a more-comfortable monthly payment, you'll end up paying more interest over the life of loan.
But there may be a way to have your cake and eat it, too. Get this: Refinancing rates are incredibly low right now (like do-not-miss-this-low), which means you may have an opportunity to score manageable monthly payments and save a good chunk of money at the same time. Let's look at three examples of how this can play out.
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