“The Price You Pay for College,” a conversation between Ron Lieber and Lauren Rivera, Ph.D., will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public, suitable for ages 12 and up. Registration is required. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/2316085187456/WN_Owupv7p4TeK0-ONwV96wqQ

Sending a teenager to a flagship state university for four years of on-campus living costs more than $100,000 in many parts of the United States. Meanwhile, families of freshmen attending scores of selective private colleges will spend triple that – more than $300,000. It’s a hard pill to swallow but the cost of college is probably the biggest expense that a family will incur over its lifetime. Add to this the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on incomes, and the stakes are even higher.

With the same passion, smarts, and humor that infuses his personal finance column in the New York Times, Ron Lieber’s new book, “The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make,” offers families a much-needed guide to help them navigate this difficult and often confusing journey that has only been compounded by a global pandemic and the resulting chaos in higher education.

Mr. Lieber explains who pays what, and why, and how the financial aid system got so complicated. He also pulls the curtain back on merit aid, a complicated and often opaque form of tuition discounting that most colleges now use to compete with their peers.

Mr. Lieber will be interviewed by Lauren Rivera, Ph.D., Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is the author of “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs.”

The Jan. 26 webinar is sponsored by Family Action Network (FAN), in partnership with Evanston Township High School D202, Beacon Academy, Bennett Day School, Compass Health Center, Evanston Scholars, Family Service Center, Fusion Academy, Lake Forest D67, Loyola Academy, Mindful Psychology Associates PC, New Trier High School D203, New Trier Parents’ Association, North Shore Country Day School, Porter-Gaud Parent Association, Regina Dominican College Preparatory High School, Roycemore School, Science and Arts Academy, Spirit of 67, Stevenson High School D125, The Alliance for Early Childhood, Wolcott College Prep, and Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart.

The event will be recorded and available later on FAN’s website and YouTube channel. A bonus after-hours event is also available to webinar attendees. For more information, visit www.familyactionnetwork.net.