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For many Kansas residents, getting a college education is one of the first financial investments young people make. Unfortunately, given the ever increasing costs, a wrong decision could lead to unexpected financial difficulties in the future. For many people, getting a clear view of the costs of education may be a challenge. However, there are resources available to help students and their parents understand the costs to help make decisions and plan appropriately.

The government-sponsored College Scorecard and organizations like it aim to give prospective students a more realistic picture of what to expect from their future colleges. Scorecard seeks to determine the “real cost” of attending America’s colleges. After all, simply stating the cost per year may not give a true picture of the amount of scholarship and grant money available to the student. In addition, questions like the average length of matriculation, the average amount of student debt and the rate of employment after graduation are assessed by the Scorecard.

Students and parents in Kansas may consider using such information as they plan for secondary education. Of course, even with proper planning and appropriate loans, the financial stretch created could leave little room for error, and unexpected expenses could leave those tied into educational loans on the financial brink.

In such situations, an individual can seek the counsel of a qualified bankruptcy attorney to discuss their options. A thorough analysis of a consumer’s debt can illuminate legal options that can give debt relief. Although student loans themselves are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, it may be possible to rid oneself of other debts, which would allow the debtor to regain financial control.

Source: CNN, “College Scorecard tries to reality check school ‘sticker price’,” Jamie Gumbrecht, Feb. 22, 2013