Student loans should be the last alternative for any college-planning strategy. Unfortunately, it’s where many families start. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, about 70% of graduating seniors in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per student. The good news is that a bit of planning can help reduce the need to rely on student loans. With online resources and research, you can develop a strategy that will help your child obtain a degree without breaking the bank. Your strategy should start with choosing the right college based on the school’s cultural and financial fit for your child.

Earlier this year, Inceptia and Nerdwallet partnered together to produce a 25 page guide to assist parents with their child’s college selection process. As indicated in the guide, Your child’s goal should not simply be to gain admission, but to thrive, grow and graduate ready to succeed in the next chapter of life.

Read the entire guide here.

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