The costs to pay for college are rising by 6-8% per year. A four-year college education can cost anywhere from $80,000 (state school) to $200,000 (private school). However, the average student today takes 5.8 years to complete their undergraduate degree. This could mean an additional $36,000 to $90,000 in unplanned expenses.
Many parents sacrifice their investments to pay for college and this is to the detriment of their longer-term retirement requirements. A mature adult today is expected to live well into their 90s, requiring at least 30 years of retirement income.
The less expensive schools may not be the deal you think. These schools have less money to give and may only fund 40-75% whereas elite schools may fund up to 100% of the required college tuition.
While this is the best and
cheapest way to pay for college, scholarships are extremely competitive and are based on scholastic, athletic achievements and/or family financial need. In 2011, only 13% of high school students with a 3.5-4.0 GPA got awarded and only 0.7% received athletic scholarships (Washington Post, March 13, 2011).
The class of 2013 is entering the workplace with an average student debt of $35,200. Of this debt, 25% is credit card debt and another 22% is in private loans; this is in addition to their student loans. A survey by Fidelity Investments found that 39% would have made different choices related to college planning if they had understood the total cost of college.
The College Planning Network has developed proprietary software that contains scholarship, work-study, student loan, and enrollment information to over 820 colleges within the United States, including all of the Ivy League Schools. We offer a free College Funding Assessment that lets us determine your estimated family contribution and how that can be optimized to:
1) Minimize use of your savings
2) Increase access to low or no interest state and federal loans
3) Identify additional scholarships and award opportunities
4) Attend the college of your choice