Can you afford a private college? Should you?
I'm a big fan of avoiding large student loans, even if it means not going to your first choice college: A degree from an elite university might give you more options but graduating with a 6-figure debt load eliminates a lot of those options: you pretty much have to take the highest-paying job you can find just to service your loans.
In the first few months of WalletPop's existence, our writers have offered some valuable tips on choosing a college and paying for it. In our Recession Watch series, Julie Tilsner had some great advice for parents of college-bound kids. I wrote about Kiplinger's list of the top public colleges in America and an interesting way to save money on textbooks: rent them! We also had a piece on colleges that are completely free.
College is one of the biggest expenses of most peoples' lives but if you're willing to be creative and forgo the status symbol that is a degree from a private college, you can make it a lot less painful.