These days, most people assume you need to pay a boatload of money for a quality college education. As a result, students and their parents are willing to go into years of debt and potentially sabotage their entire financial futures just to get a fancy name on their diploma.
But Zac Bissonnette is walking proof that this assumption is not only false, but dangerous-a class con game designed to rip you off and doom your student to a post-graduation life of near poverty . From his unique double perspective-he's a personal finance expert (at Daily Finance) AND a current senior at the University of Massachusetts-Zac figured out how to get an outstanding education at a public college, without bankrupting his parents or taking on massive loans.
Armed with his personal knowledge, the latest data, and smart analysis, Zac takes on the sacred cows of the higher education establishment. He reveals why a lot of the conventional wisdom about choosing and financing college is not only wrong but hazardous to you and your child's financial future. You'll discover, for instance, that:
* Student loans are NOT a necessary evil. Ordinary middle class families can- and must-find ways to avoid them, even without scholarships.
* College "rankings" are useless-designed to sell magazines and generate hype. If you trust one of the major guides when picking a college, you face a potential financial disaster.
* The elite graduate programs accept lots of people with non-elite bachelors degrees. So do America's most selective employers. The name on a diploma ultimately won't help your child have a more successful career or earn more money.
Zac can prove every one of those bold assertions - and more. No matter what your current financial situation, he has a simple message for parents: "RELAX! Your kid will be able to get a champagne education on a beer budget!"
Zac Bissonnette is a personal finance writer and a junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is an editor at WalletPoP, AOL's personal finance website and one of the 500 most trafficked websites. He also blogs for The Daily Beast, and has been quoted in numerous other media outlets.
"If the National Association for College Admissions Counseling had anticipated the dire consequences of one of the smartest teenagers in America encountering the ill-examined assumptions of their profession, they might have found some way to buy him off, maybe a full ride scholarship to Harvard. Too late. Bissonnette is 21 now, a senior at the University of Massachusetts. He has written the best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process." -Jay Mathews, The Washington Post
"Let Zac Bissonnette help you plan for college-where to go, what to study, and how to pay for it-and you will finish rich" -David Bach #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich
"In the new economy, your college choice is critical. Zac Bissonnette's Debt- Free U is the one book you need to make this life-changing decision-- thoroughly researched, smart, and funny. Grade: A+." -Ali Rogers, CBS Moneywatch. Author, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie
"With Bissonnette, college-bound students and their parents finally have an unbiased source to help make an educated decision about choosing and affording college. Not to mention, his advice can help you pocket tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Want to make a smart investment in this economy? Buy Debt-Free U." -Farnoosh Torabi, financial expert and author of Psych Yourself Rich