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Spending - Heart Matters


5. Higher Education

When you’re planning for higher education, it’s a good idea to think about how much tuition you are comfortable paying now and how much you will be comfortable paying back in loans when you finish your education and begin working. Education beyond high school, whether it’s a 4-year college, a community college or a vocational school, is an investment in yourself that can have a positive financial impact on your future. However, just as LeBron can improve his financial situation by driving a car that fits his budget better, choosing a college that fits your current and future financial situation is an important consideration.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply to your dream school because it seems too expensive. It’s best to make your decision after you complete your FAFSA and any other financial aid applications that your school requires and receive your award notifications. Your award notifications will tell you how much financial aid each college is able to offer. In some cases a more expensive school may be able to offer more financial aid, making your out-of-pocket expense less than you expected. But remember, any financial aid awarded as student loans MUST be repaid.

If you are currently in college or considering going to college, check out College In Colorado’s SLOPE calculator to find out how much debt will be manageable when you graduate from college.

About College In Colorado's SLOPE calculator
SLOPE stands for Student Loans Over Projected Earnings -- the ratio of your student loan debt to your first year income. In other words, the SLOPE calculator will determine what percentage of your anticipated income from a career choice will be used to pay off your student loans each year.

The SLOPE Calculator determines:

  • How much interest you will have to repay if you choose to wait to pay interest on an unsubsidized Stafford Loan until after you are out of college
  • How much your monthly student loan payments will be (after adding in the interest)
  • What percent of your income will go to paying off student loans based upon a career choice

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