As a college counselor, I talk a lot about “fit” with students when we work together to craft their college list. Generally, what we focus on are finding three sides to make a complete triangle: what a student wants in his or her college, what the college is looking for, and finally, the overall cost of that education. While most families tend to focus on the first two aspects, if the affordability piece is missing, the entire process falls flat.
Much like how each person sitting on an airplane has likely paid a different price for his seat than the person sitting next to him, so too does the cost of college differ for each family. Unfortunately, much like college admissions, affordability when looking at colleges is both very misunderstood and differs from person to person. Below are the top five myths I frequently confront, as well as advice on how to balance fit and affordability when looking at college.