Skip to content

Making College Count: Calculating the Long-Term ROI of Your Education



College is one of the biggest investments a family might make. But, most families jump in head first without understanding the true cost of college or calculating the potential return on investment.

Donna Baines of Baines College Planning joins Jason to discuss how to make wise investment decisions when it comes to your child’s education, the resources available to parents and students, and alternative options besides college.

Tune into this episode to also learn:

  • What you should consider to narrow down a list of right-fit colleges for your child
  • Find out what college will really cost you
  • Alternative learning paths besides college

What we discussed

(00:37) What do college admissions companies do?

(04:36) Is college a wise investment?

(07:42) Signs college is not a right fit for your child

(14:04) Calculating the real cost of college

(18:27) Colleges with generous financial aid

3 Things To Remember

  1. Before deciding if college is a wise investment, you first need to identify the purpose you want college to serve in your life and career. What skills are you trying to acquire? What career are you trying to get into? Answer these questions then work backwards.
  2. College is not for everyone, there’s a reason only 50% of college students end up graduating. You can find gainful employment without college such as attending a trade program.
  3. There are colleges like Georgetown that will cover a family’s full financial need through financial aid packages as long as the student is admitted.


Useful Links

Best cost of college calculator (EFC calculator):

Net price of college calculator:

Connect with Donna Baines: LinkedIn | Website

Connect with Jason Gabrieli: [email protected] | LinkedIn

Connect with Tyler Reedman: LinkedIn

Like what you’ve heard…

Learn more about HFM HERE

Schedule time to speak with us HERE

Check out our Financial Wellness Program – HFM Ignite

Memorable moments:

(02:28) “ Only 50% of college students were graduating and it was taking them six years to get their four year degree and to me that seems like a sin.”

(06:11) “We can narrow down some of their options by understanding: What do they want to accomplish? And then counting the big factors like distance and cost, we’re able to come up with an optimized list of potential colleges that they could fit into.”

(10:49) “Whether it’s a trade, a community college or a four year college, all of them in my mind are higher education. It’s all more skills that they’re going to be able to use.”

(13:08) “Sometimes mom and dad aren’t on the same page. And even sometimes a child’s on a different page and that’s okay. But at the end of the day, who’s the consumer? Who’s gonna have to execute on this plan? And who’s gonna have to show up for class? And get that career? And live with it?”




HFM Investment Advisors, LLC is a registered investment adviser. All statements and opinions expressed are based upon information considered reliable although it should not be relied upon as such. Any statements or opinions are subject to change without notice. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. All investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Information expressed does not take into account your specific situation or objectives and is not intended as a recommendation appropriate for any individual. Listeners are encouraged to seek advice from a qualified tax, legal, or investment advisor to determine whether any information presented may be suitable for their specific situation. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Back To Top