The cost of a college education is higher than ever, and there is no relief in sight. College expenses range from tuition, room, and board, to books, supplies, fees and travel expenses. The bottom line is that the sooner you start planning for college, whether for your children or yourself, the better prepared you should be to handle the “sticker shock” associated with getting a college education. 1
There is no doubt that the sooner you start the conversation about college and how it will be paid for, the more realistic the family’s expectations will be about what the family can afford to pay. In the real world, many families do not start these discussions soon enough. So in the end, the challenge of going to college, to even the least expensive local college, results in great disappointment and even embarrassment for family members. In fact, it may be impossible for anyone in the family to attend college at all.
Average Cost at Public Colleges
The College Board recently reported that “a moderate college budget for an in-state public college for the 2017–2018 academic year averaged $25,290. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $50,900.” 2 Keep in mind that the $25,290 average cost reported by the Board is for resident students at public colleges. However, most public colleges charge almost double of out-of-state residents.
Don’t “Plan to Fail”
There is an old adage that says, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” Establishing a plan for the aspiring college students in the family early on is essential to help reduce the challenges, anxiety, and the expenses that the family will incur in obtaining the desired college education for family members.
The Longer You Wait
So don’t give up on the desire to go to college just because of its seemingly unaffordable cost. The longer you wait to make a plan the fewer the options you’ll have when the time comes.
Numerous Aid Options Available
There are several types of aid available to help you pay for your education beyond high school, including grants and scholarships, federal work-study jobs and student loans. Don’t wait until tomorrow to establish a plan for your college education. Do it today!3
###Larry W. Marvin
LifeCrafter Money $ense