PAYING FOR COLLEGE: 2019 EDITION

(Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, September 18, 2018, $22.99)

Get this book, and don't just read it—study it. The steps Chany suggests…truly do work.  - Reuters Personal Finance Reporter Gail Marks Jarvis

Can save thousands in college bills.  - Forbes Contributor John Wasik

A college education is a wise investment. Individuals with college degrees have higher lifetime earnings, lower unemployment rates, and even longer lives (on average) than people with only a high school diploma. But paying for college is daunting. The average sticker price (tuition, fees, room and board for one year) at public four-year colleges in 2017-18* was $20,770 (for in-state students)—a 3.1% increase over the previous year. At private four-year colleges, it was $46,950—a 3.5% increase. For more than 25 years, average college costs have annually risen higher than the rate of inflation. More than 60 colleges now have a sticker price of $60,000 (or more).

Not surprisingly, the need for financial aid (and the competition for it) has also risen dramatically. Among nearly 11,000 college applicants and parents The Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com) surveyed** in 2018, 88% said financial aid would be very necessary for them to pay for college. Within that cohort, 65% deemed it extremely necessary. Sadly, most students and parents know little about how the aid application process works or how aid awards are determined. Sadder still, few have a clue on how to maximize their eligibility for aid.

One financial aid guide—PAYING FOR COLLEGE (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, $22.99, September 18, 2018)—gives parents and students annually updated guidance on each of those crucial topics. Now out in its 2019 edition, it is entirely unique in that it provides detailed line-by-line strategies for completing the upcoming year's FAFSA (the complex 100+ question Free Application for Federal Student Aid form that all aid applicants must submit) to one's best advantage. The book also provides specific strategies for completing the College Board’s CSS PROFILE form (which many selective schools require in addition to the FAFSA) as advantageously as possible.

Authored by Kalman A. Chany with Geoff Martz, PAYING FOR COLLEGE also covers how to plan long-term for college costs and select the best education loans. Simply put: it is a guide for parents of newborns to teens on the savviest ways to plan for, get aid for, and pay for college. Chany is one of the country's most widely sourced experts on college funding. An independent financial aid consultant for more than 30 years, he has helped thousands of parents cut tens of thousands of dollars off the cost of their child's college education. He applies strategic planning techniques used by tax accountants to the world of financial aid. Chany urges parents to become educated consumers and to remember that “the relationship between a parent and the college financial aid office is akin to that between a taxpayer and the IRS.” His recommendations—all legal—take into account year-to-year changes in the formulas and forms used to determine aid awards.

The new 2019 edition of PAYING FOR COLLEGE – subtitled "Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College," – is the only annually updated guidebook offering:

  • Worksheets to calculate one’s “Expected Family Contribution.” These enable families to get an advance “guestimate” on what the colleges will expect them to ante up. More importantly, Chany points out specific, legal ways to lower that figure and boost aid eligibility.
  • Line-by-line strategies for completing the 2019-2020 standardized aid application forms to one's best advantage. These include the FAFSA and the even more detailed CSS PROFILE application. Sample copies of the FAFSA, plus the federal (student) Direct Loan and (the parent) PLUS loan Master Promissory Notes are in the book.
  • Updates on education tax breaks and financial aid legislation. Chany explains the pros and cons of 529 plans and other funding options – including the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit and other tax breaks – and how they affect aid eligibility.

Chany also discusses:

  • What the parent and the student should—and shouldn’t—do to get the most aid
  • What single, separated or divorced parents need to know about aid eligibility
  • How to appeal for more aid if the college’s initial offer isn’t enough
  • How to find the best education loans and handle repayment issues 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE— published annually since 1992, (previously titled PAYING FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT GOING BROKE) is one of about 150 books developed by The Princeton Review and published by Penguin Random House. The line includes guides to colleges, college admission, and dozens of standardized tests.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation, tutoring, and college admission services company                                    (www.princetonreview.com). Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The company is a subsidiary of ST Unitas, a global education technology company. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com or www.facebook.com/ThePrincetonReview. Follow the company's Twitter feed  @ThePrincetonRev.

About the Author

Kalman Chany is founder and president of Campus Consultants Inc. (www.campusconsultants.com), a Manhattan-based firm that has guided parents and students through the financial aid process since 1984. He has guested on ABC “Good Morning America” and "World News Tonight," CBS "Evening News," NBC "Nightly News," and NPR's "Talk of the Nation." He has also been sourced in publications from Money to The Wall Street Journal.

PAYING FOR COLLEGE: 2019 Edition
By Kalman A. Chany with Geoff Martz. 
Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books
$22.99 (Canada $29.99) • 352 pages • Sept. 18, 2018 • ISBN 978-0-525-56755-4
Kindle Edition (also $22.99) available Nov. 6, 2018

*According to the College Board's 2017 "Trends in College Pricing" http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing

**According to The Princeton Review's 2018 "College Hopes & Worries" survey:  https://www.princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries