I had an awful experience this weekend (and as of this writing, it’s only Saturday, lol!) On New Year’s Eve at 4:30 in the afternoon, I found a flood in my basement. After I had some help locating my water main to turn off the water in the house so that the oil burner would stop pouring water out all over the floor, I needed to try and find a repair guy. The emergency technician comes and says the heating system is very old, cracked and I need a new one. So now I’m now left in my house with no heat and no hot water.
On New Year’s Day, I try (and succeed!) in getting a couple of estimates. I have decided to move forward with the company that provided the second estimate. They’ll be here on Monday, thank goodness!
So, you’re wondering why I am even writing this...and how it all relates to college and paying for college…
This morning, I reached out to the gentleman who provided me with the initial estimate and let him know that I have decided to go with a different company. Immediately, he asked if he could give me a lower price. I said no for a couple of different reasons that extended beyond just cost.
This whole exchange with him, though, got me very annoyed! “Why can’t everyone, for all products and services, automatically provide you with the best price? Why does everything need to be a game (and a hassle?) And why does it seem like every price needs to be negotiated?” And this is where college and paying for college comes in.
As many of us who are Gen X’ers have likely seen, every other news article talks about our collective excessive debt as well as our lack of retirement savings. We all need to be so careful when it comes to paying for college!!
So, now why am I writing all of this? Because, like the cost of replacing a heating system, college is an expensive endeavor. It needs to be thoroughly researched and negotiated. It is important to not only research the school’s programs and reputation, but also what your forecasted cost will be (which is likely different from the family who lives next door to you!) It’s especially important to forecast these costs before even submitting college applications to know whether or not you can afford to consider certain schools. And then, even when you do receive your financial aid offer after your college acceptance, guess what? It is possible to further negotiate! There are many different reasons to negotiate. Some require more time and details than others. And every school’s response may be different from one another. But the fact remains, it is possible for the school to not provide you with its best offer. Just like the heating company did to me...
If you have any questions concerning the college financial aid, scholarship and student loan process, feel free to reach out. College Financial Prep is here to help. We believe that when it comes to college, you should be well informed and confident that all was done to maximize your savings, minimize your costs and reduce your need for student loan debt.
Wishing you a very happy new year (with much warmth and heat)!
Founder, College Financial Prep
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