Talk turkey with your kids
. No matter how you plan to pay for college, let your kids know what you're prepared to do before you make up a college wish list. Be clear that "if the net price after financial aid doesn't end up at your number, it has to go off the list,” says Fox. Without that conversation, you'll be hard-pressed to say no when the acceptance letter from Vassar comes. "College is not just a financial decision," says Fox. "There's a whole emotional side. You have to have the guidelines established before you get to that point."
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