This post is was originally published on Financial Mentor

Click here to download the transcript of Brad & Jocelyn’s best tips on making college affordable when you don’t qualify for financial aid!

The cost of college is ridiculous.

You can give your child a top quality education or s/he can have a home free-and-clear plus retirement fully funded instead.

That trade-off doesn’t make any financial sense.

Sure, I’m a huge fan of education. I believe in the importance of the college experience as a valuable launch-pad into adulthood, but the cost of college shouldn’t be so outrageously high that you’re literally making a decision between higher education versus a debt free home plus retirement security.

That’s outrageous.

Adding insult to injury, college education is the only business that demands all your financial statements before deciding what they’re going to charge you. Just imagine buying a car from a dealer who demands full disclosure of every detail of your net worth and personal finances including tax statements before deciding how much he should charge you for the car.

Absurd? Yes! But that’s exactly how the college business operates.

Even worse, the system is rigged against most of my readers.

For example, some quality schools are running $70K per year for all-in costs meaning $280K total if you child graduates in 4 years, and $350K if s/he takes 5 years. Even if you round that number down to $250K to be conservative that’s still $500K total if you have 2 kids. That’s a big nut to swallow for anyone, even if you’re reasonably successful. Only the very wealthy can afford to be cavalier about such a large number, and only the very poor qualify for enough financial aid that they don’t have to worry about how to pay for college.

So the purpose of this podcast is to help you figure out how to afford the high cost of college when you don’t qualify for need-based financial aid. It’s a tremendously important subject because paying for college is one of the biggest financial issues you’ll face – right up there with buying a home and funding retirement.

I invited two experts in back-to-back interviews that will share two different perspectives on how to pay for college. The goal of this podcast episode is to provide you with a complete education in college affordability for the affluent all in one podcast episode.

My first guest is Brad Baldridge, a CFP specializing in helping middle and upper-middle class families afford college.

My second guest is Jocelyn Paonita, who secured over $126,000 in scholarships to cover her tuition and graduate debt free. She will teach her complete system for getting enough scholarships to pay for college without ever borrowing a dime.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The six different categories of schools and the financial advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Why college is just a business, like any other, so you can properly assess the costs vs. benefits of different school offers.
  • How you can attend certain out-of-state schools at in-state tuition rates.
  • Why you have a better chance at scoring merit aid at a private school than a state school.
  • The critical difference between merit and need-based aid.
  • How your children can get free scholarship money even when they’re not academic or athletic rockstars.
  • A behind-the-scenes peek at colleges marketing strategies so you don’t fall for their tricks.
  • How the bottom 25% of an incoming class pays for the top 25%  of students.
  • The four dimensions of paying for college.
  • Brad’s favorite strategies for reducing the burden of paying for college, including business and tax strategies.
  • How to figure out your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • What you need to know about FAFSA and the CSS Profile.
  • Why you must complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile even if you think you’ll never qualify for need-based aid.
  • How to use net price calculators that colleges must provide (and their downsides).
  • How to set expectations with your child so you’re not footing an enormous bill.
  • The formula for how income versus assets are weighted in financial aid calculations.
  • How to negotiate with schools to lower tuition or obtain better aid packages.
  • Why it’s important to begin this process sooner than later – as early as sophomore year in high school.
  • Jocelyn’s entrepreneurial strategy to pursue scholarship revenue as an alternative to a job.
  • The exact system Jocelyn used to win half the scholarship applications she submitted.
  • What it means to get into a “money-making mindset” before applying for scholarships.
  • How to separate legitimate scholarships from all the scams.
  • How to use mathematical expectancy principles to pick the most lucrative scholarships.
  • The surprising reason you’ll want to pursue smaller scholarships over the large ones.
  • The unfortunate truth of how college financial aid offices deal with merit and need-based scholarships.
  • How storytelling and structure are critically important to your college essays.
  • How to use events and accomplishments to ‘sell’ a story in an application.
  • The 529 loophole every parents must know.
  • and much more….

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:

Financial Mentor Podcast - How to pay for the high cost of college

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Your primary relationship can make or break your financial success. Learn how to manage your money and relationships with financial expert Farnoosh Torabi.


The cost of college has been on an upward trend for the past several years, and there's no sign of it stopping. This can make the task of paying for college seem daunting, especially when you're in a position that disqualifies you for financial aid. Thankfully, there are many legitimate ways to make college more affordable. You'll discover them in this podcast.


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