Monday, January 29, 2024


High School Speaking Engagements

I teach families how to maximize financial aid, minimize student debt, and create an ideal college outcome for their students.

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The epidemic.

Life Delayed...

Student loan debt is having a profound effect on the daily lives and spending habits of young Americans. While it’s not common for borrowers to run into problems paying their loans, the mere existence of the debt is a burden that is impacting the way student borrowers make important life decisions. 

A survey conducted by the American Student Assistance (ASA) showed that those with student debt are delaying major life decisions, such as getting married, buying that first home, starting a family, saving for retirement, and even entering into a career field of their choice – because of their debt.

Despite the positive gain of a college education, student debt is limiting young people’s ability to achieve financial success and confidence:

  • 35% of respondents said it was difficult to buy daily necessities
  • 52% said their debt affects their ability to make larger purchases such as a car
  • 62% said they have put off saving for retirement or other investments; and
  • 55% indicated that student loan debt affects their decision or ability to purchase a home

In addition, respondents also indicated how student loan debt was impacting important life decisions:

  • 53% responded that student loan debt was the deciding factor, or had considerable impact, on their choice of career field;
  • 61% of those interested in starting a small business, indicated that student loan debt impacted their ability to do so
  • 21% indicated that they have put off marriage as a result of their student loans
  • 28% said that student debt has delayed their decision to start a family

To compound the problem, today’s school counselors are expected to advise students on how to academically prepare for college, apply to college, and – more and more these days – help those students understand the financial impact of their college decision.

But as the cost of college continues to soar in price – and well beyond most families’ ability to pay – are school counselors equipped to help? And, do they even view this guidance as falling within their responsibility?

While many counselors strongly believe that conveying the true cost of college is important, most have received very little training to do so. 

School Counselors are more likely to recommend schools that are a good academic fit for the student and less likely to dissuade a student from going to a college that is a bad financial fit.

The solution.

How to Pay for College

Cost: $0.00 – ENROLL

“How to Pay for College” is a speaking engagement that Tom Martin offers to help educate families on the true cost of college, and factors that drive up that cost for a family.

The presentation covers the 5 Things Every College-Bound Family Needs to Know:

  1. How much colleges think they can afford (EFC)
  2. How much their family can actually afford;
  3. How to find schools that will be most generous with financial aid; 
  4. The “out of pocket” costs for all four years at each institution;
  5. The college funding gap and resulting student loans at each college

Presenting to Daniel Hand High School - Madison, CT


In addition to the amazing presentation we offer on how to pay for college, we also share the accompanying handouts.

College Pre-Approval Worksheet. This worksheet helps families set a realistic budget for college.

Whitepaper. This is a short read to understand how a financial planner views how to pay for college.

Whitepaper. This is a short read to learn how parents could bring up the college talk with your student.

Whitepaper. This is a short read on what factors divorced parents should consider in planning for college.

Because the facts and figures mentioned in these resources change each year, we make these downloads available in a post-event email.

College Aid Night