By Carol Lloyd
Some parents don’t need this book. And if you're one of them, you can be assured that you're in pretty rarified company.
However, if a survey of GreatSchools staffers offers any indication, this new guide by financial advisor Ken Clark will strike a soft spot in the heart of ill-prepared American parents. The 337 pages of information, advice, and know-how make no assumptions about your intelligence — covering everything from the definition of board (“a fancy term for ‘food’”) to myths about scholarships (myth #1: Scholarships are impossible to get). Beyond the quick gloss on the obvious, the book digs into territory that many parents (including this one) really need to know. And let’s face it: Ideally, you learn this stuff long before it’s too late and your teen is wailing on the couch — Why did I work so hard in high school? I’m never going to college cause there ain’t no money! — and you’re so chastened and so sad, you don’t even correct her grammar.
So if, like most parents, you don’t have a college plan for your child and are without a financial advisor nimbly pouring your pennies into the right tax free-pots, this book is an excellent way to begin the process. It will explain different kinds of financial aid, the strategies for saving money (in accounts and in life), and even offer chapters on alternative routes to paying for college — like military service, Peer-to-Peer lending, and non-traditional colleges (i.e. online or hybrid).
Like most of the Dummy and Idiot books, this one overpromises at times. Everything is possible! Just follow this 299-point plan! Chances are, however, many parents will throw up their hands and surrender to the Gods of chance and wishful thinking before they soldier through every chapter. But even if the parent doesn’t complete the book or perfect their college prep plan before their newborn is discharged from the hospital, the book will still be valuable. Written in a clever, approachable voice with an expert’s exhaustive understanding of the subject, the guide will no doubt do many parents a good turn when it comes to planning for college. Not only does it show the range of what’s possible — for better or worse, there’s no single (read: simple) road to college planning — but outlines which strategies have their pros and cons. If nothing else, the book is a healthy reminder for parents to focus, now and not later, on their ultimate hopes for their child and that a little strategic thinking today will go a long way to making dreams come true tomorrow.
And that’s just the sort of thinking this well-educated idiot needs to do.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.