Every since I left the Los Angeles Times in the 1990's, I've been a personal finance journalist. I write regularly about 401(k) plans, mutual funds and stock investing for publications like Business Week and USA Today, but I became incredibly enthusiastic about a far different field once my children were teenagers.
When my husband and I were contemplating how we were going to afford wonderful colleges for our two children, I began researching the topic. Despite tough financial times for millions of American families, I discovered that there is very little useful information to help parents find great financial deals at colleges and universities.
I was so appalled by this dearth of information that I ultimately wrote a book to share strategies that I learned. My daughter, who is now a sophomore at a college in Pennsylvania, knocked $56,000 off the four-year price tag. And lots of kids can do the same thing. What's more, you don't have to be a 4.0 student to pull this off. Far from it.
The title of my new book is The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price. I regularly blog about college at TheCollegeSolution.com.