The costs of college are higher than ever and keep rising at an alarming rate. To get the most from your education, you have to make smart decisions on the financial aspects of choosing the right college.

In the following video, Motley Fool investment-planning editor Lauren Kuczala talks with longtime Fool contributor and financial planner Dan Caplinger about how students and parents can make smart college choices without jeopardizing their financial futures. Dan notes that while student-loan lenders have reaped big profits from extending credit to students, high debt burdens and a weak job market have held graduates back. Moreover, the scrutiny of for-profit educational institutions has added to the debate over whether college is a good value.

Dan talks about several things to consider in getting the most from your education savings. By critically assessing the long-term merits of a school to a student's career and comparing them with the costs involved and financial resources available, you can make a decision that provides the right fit without breaking your budget.

Editor's note: The volume levels in some segments of the video are low. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Bridgepoint Education and warrants on Wells Fargo. You can follow Dan on Twitter: @DanCaplinger. Lauren Kuczala has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Bridgepoint Education and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.