If you are a parent of a high school student, one of the biggest decisions facing your family may be the choice of your child's collage. 

Financial consideration play a big part in that decision. Guidance counselors advise students to begin the entire process as early as the 9th or 10th grade.

Middle class families - those earning from $45,000-$60,000 a year - are often at a disadvantage. The family's earnings are too high to qualify for government need-based grants, but are not high enough to allow them to save tens of thousands of dollars for their child's education.

Students often worry more about getting accepted than the cost issue. This can lead  to disappointment if a large gap exist between a college's cost and the amount the amount available to the student through financial aid and their parents' contribution.