With the same passion, smarts, and humor that infuses his personal finance column in The New York Times, Ron Lieber’s highly anticipated new book, The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make, offers families a much-needed guide to help them navigate this difficult and often confusing journey that has only been compounded by a global pandemic and the resulting chaos in higher education. Mr. Lieber explains who pays what, and why, and how the financial aid system got so complicated. He also pulls the curtain back on merit aid, a complicated and often opaque form of tuition discounting that most colleges now use to compete with their peers.
While price is essential, value is paramount. So, what is worth paying extra for, and how do you know when it exists in abundance at any particular school? Is a small college better than a big one? Who actually does the teaching? Given that every college claims to have reinvented its career counseling center, who should we actually believe? And how has – and should — the global pandemic changed the definition of what it means to get your money’s worth out of an undergraduate education?
Mr. Lieber calmly walks families through the process of setting financial goals, explaining the system to their children, and figuring out the right ways to save, borrow, and bargain for a better deal.