Money Talks: Creative College Financing

Look just at the sticker price, and four years at a private university these days can easily cost as much as a Ferrari.

A fact not lost on the popular press. But while the soaring cost of college makes for sexy headlines, college isn't always as expensive as it appears.

According to the College Board, Tuition sticker price at public universities is around $8,000/year. But the average paid? About $2,500: less than a third of the sticker price.

For private universities, average annual tuition now tops $28,000, but the average actually paid was less than half that: About $13,000.

And here's a headline you won't see - the actual cost of a private education is lower now than it was 5 years ago. This cost isn't skyrocketing. So what makes the big difference between the sticker price and the actual price? Well one thing the College Board considers when determining actual price is the tax write-offs you get for financing a college education. But there are also a lot of other factors.

Find grants and waivers by filling out the FAFSA, or Federal Application for Student Aid. Then scour for scholarships...

And there are other things that can help, from work-study, to Federal programs that forgive loans in exchange for public service.

Bottom line? If you really want a college degree, don't let the sticker shock price scare you away. Because there's plenty of help out there, and I can show you where to find a lot of it. Go to and do a search for "College."

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