Updated: 02/12/2013 11:31 AM
Created: 02/11/2013 9:37 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Winkler
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is revealing a secret we're told many colleges and universities would rather you not know: Tuition rates are often not written in stone.
In fact, a firm in Saint Paul specializes in dramatically reducing the amount of debt students must take on to finance a college education.
College Assistance Plus for Minnesota identifies what types of students colleges are most attracted to and then gets those colleges to compete against each other for those students.
The results can be jaw dropping.
In one instance, CA Plus was able to reduce a client's tuition from $42,000 to approximately $7,000; a $35,000 savings. The firm has gotten similar results for others.
However, it's not the only way families can help their children avoid staggering student debt loads.
Bruce Helmer, of the Wealth Enhancement Group in Chaska, says permanent life insurance is an option gaining in popularity.
While not yet a mainstream way to fund a college education, Helmer says this type of insurance can be advantageous for those who buy a policy early. He says permanent life insurance offers tax free withdrawals and lacks some of the penalties associated with borrowing from traditional retirement accounts.