Financial guru, best-selling author and syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey has a sage piece of advice for high school seniors and their families considering college choices: Forget about the so-called "dream schools."

Students (and their families) should focus on the crucial factor of Return On Investment. Pretty campuses with fancy reputations sometimes go hand-in-hand with high tuition rates and significant long-term debt. Ramsey has suggested three great considerations that actually make a lot of sense, especially for people here in Central New York.

1. Community College
Not every two-year school is great, but there are some great values in New York state, right in our own back yard, even though some of them fell a few notches in the most recent rankings.

2. Public In-State Schools
Go for value. The SUNY college system has a great reputation. The average cost of annual in-state tuition at public colleges is $9,970, while out-of-state tuition averages $25,620, according to ValuePenguin. Private colleges average $34,740 annually.

3. Live at home
If you and your parents get along and have an understanding...save some cash.