Ask Terry Questions College Tuition

College Tuition

By Terry Savage on May 15, 2019 | College Savings / Student Loans

Good morning,
Our oldest just finished her first year in College, she took out student loans and we helped with the rest. We did not take any loans, just paid for it. Our son is finishing his junior year in a private school and our youngest will be a freshman in the Fall. We do not have college savings that we can fall back on as we thought we would’ve moved back to Ireland. We’re trying so hard to figure out where all this money is going to come from and try and put something away for our retirement. My husband an I are both self employed, so that in itself is very hard to budget as income is not consistent. Any advice to get through these next few years would be greatly appreciated.

Terry Says

OK, small comfort but you are not alone.  Right now is the time to talk with your son about what he can expect in the way of financial help.  This summer he should start doing two things.

#1 is to research affordable schools where he might be accepted.  If he is at private school, there is likely a college counselor who can help in this process.  As a last resort,  if you’re still living in the states, maybe he needs to do his first two years at a community college and live at home to save money.

#2 he must spend a lot of time online at and, looking for scholarship money.  Some require community service or essays to qualify.  Fill out their search profiles completely so you are exposed to as many potential scholarships as possible. These are free services.

Since you have another child coming along in a few years, this might be a time to consider one of you getting a full-time job, with benefits — and doing your self-employment on weekends or evenings.  At least a job should offer retirement savings opportunities, including matching employer contributions.

Recent College Savings / Student Loans Questions



a personal
finance question