One of the keys for a successful future for young people, is a good education. Statistics show that those with a college education will earn more money when they graduate. As parents, you want your children to be successful, and as a student you want to earn as much money as possible in order to live a more comfortable life. The one obstacle that parents and students face in getting a quality college education is cost.
The cost of attending college has continued to rise over the past few decades to a point where the average cost of tuition, room and board, meals and other costs can be up to $45,000 for private colleges and $30,000 for public colleges. If you consider that your students will be attending school for four years (more if they are pursuing graduate degrees), the cost of a college education can be staggering. So, what are parents and students to do?
While attending college can be very expensive, you can do things to bring down the out of pocket costs. Some of the steps you can take is starting a college savings plan. The earlier parents can put money aside for education, the easier it will be when it is time for college. Other steps include looking at the type of college. A two-year college can be helpful in getting your child on the road to a higher education, at a lower cost, where they can later transfer to a four-year school. You can also compare the benefits of attending a public college as opposed to a private college. A public college will generally be less expensive than a private college, which will save you money. And, recently colleges and universities have begun offering online degrees where students of all ages can receive a college education from home. The cost of online degrees are substantially lower than going away for school.
Other steps to investigate is looking at scholarships and grants. This can be a big help in reducing the cost of education. Also, loans that parents and students can take can help finish paying for college. The most important fact is that with planning and investigation, parents and students can reduce the cost of college and make it affordable.
- Mapping Your Future: Paying for College
- The College Foundation for North Carolina: Grants and Scholarships
- Education Quest: Other Ways to Pay for College
- The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid: Student Loans
- The U.S. Department of Education: Types of Student Loans
- PBS: College, Inc.
- Stafford Loan Information
- Direct PLUS Loans
- How is Financial Aid Disbursed?
- ECampus Tours: Financial Aid 101
- Peterson’s: Understanding the Financial Aid Process
- Understanding Financial Aid
- What’s the Difference Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?
- FastWeb: A Guide to Student Loans
- PNC Education Loan Center: Paying for College
- Studentloans.gov: Financial Awareness Counseling‘
- Financial Aid Guide