Financial Services director is co-author of book on saving for college

Author: Dennis K. Brown


Joseph Russo, director of student financial services at the University of Notre Dame, is the co-author of a new book titled “How to Save for College.”

Published by Random House/Princeton Review, the book provides parents and others interested in establishing a college savings plan for any beneficiary, with information on investments, tuition savings or prepayment plans, education tax benefits, loans, financial aid and other topics. Russo and co-author James Belvin, director of financial aid at Duke University, also offer insight on the myths and realities of college costs and tips for students on how to cut costs.

Both authors each have more than 35 years of experience as financial aid administrators and have worked closely together on many projects over their long careers at Notre Dame and Duke. They recently were inducted into the College Scholarship Services Hall of Fame for significant contributions to the financial aid profession.

Russo and Belvin note that, while more than 60 percent of parents of high school seniors consider a college education vital for their children, many of them save very little for college and end up borrowing to foot the bill. Their book urges readers to start a college savings plan “as soon as you know a child is on the way.” At the same time, however, they also outline strategies for parents who have not yet started to save and have children closer to entering college.

Russo is a graduate of Le Moyne College with a bachelor’s degree in English, and he holds two master’s degreesin student personnel from Syracuse University and in education from the State University of New York.

Previously a financial aid administrator at Le Moyne and Genesee Community College, Russo has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, including the College Board and the U.S. Department of Education. He was a charter member of the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism and has testified before the U.S. Senate on major public policy issues related to student aid.

Russo and Peter Diffley, an associate dean in the Notre Dame Graduate School, are the co-authors of “Paying for Graduate School Without Going Broke,” a book that also was developed by The Princeton Review and published by Random House.

  • _p. Contact:

_ * Joseph Russo, 574-631-6436 or

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