Most parents have already heard the bad news: a college education has never been more expensive. Many, in fact, are still paying off their own student debt and would like their children to avoid that burden. The good news is that there’s a lot parents can do to help their children and make the costs of college more manageable.
A college education can be your ticket to greater job opportunities and higher earnings over your lifetime. However, tuition, fees, and living expenses add up to a substantial investment.
It is not unusual for college tuition to cost $30,000 or more a year. Some students are able to pay for it with savings or get grants or scholarships. However, many have to turn to student loans to finance at least some or all of their costs. Taking out student loans can pay off in the long run because having a college degree usually makes it easier to get well-paying jobs. However, if you
With the cost of college room and board rising through the proverbial roof, some parents consider an alternative to cramped on-campus housing: investing in a condo or house for their child to live in while at school. And it’s no wonder. With room and board running over $1,200 per month, putting that money into a property you own seems like a good idea. Or is it?
The big answer is: It depends.
My daughter is a college student and she has a credit card. She didn’t use it to buy plane tickets or expensive electronic gadgets, just gas, groceries, and a few drugstore items. But it all added up and when the school year ended, she had accrued quite a big balance. She got a full-time summer job and had to apply almost everything she earned toward this bill. Yes she paid it off, but she had almost no money saved for the start of the next school year.
Mounting student loan debt is eating away at the paychecks and independence of millennials, resulting in a generation of U.S. consumers between the ages of 25 to 34 who earn and save less than their parents did a generation ago, and many are now turning to bankruptcy protection to avoid perpetual financial disaster.
The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $150 billion each year in federal aid for higher education – and, surprisingly, more than $2 billion of this financial aid goes unclaimed. Your opportunity for some of that money begins by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The application process is relatively simple, and there is no reason not to do it. By submitting a FAFSA, you make yourself available for federal grants, work-study funds, low-interest federal student loans and possibly state or school scholarships.
If you know a high school senior with plans to continue their education, encourage them to apply for our Condon Scholarship.
Student loan debt is the enemy of many millennials, but it’s becoming a problem for some older Americans, too. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly 17% of student loan debt is currently held by borrowers age 50 and older. For many of these borrowers, this student loan debt is money borrowed for their children’s or grandchildren’s educations.
Four Key Areas to Cut the Cost of College Expenses – Without Cutting into a Great College Experience
Headed for college this fall? Congratulations! It’s an exciting new phase in life – one where you’ll be learning more about the world, yourself, and the cost of living away from home. College expenses don’t stop at tuition, room and board. There are lots of other expenses that can quickly eat through your budget. The good news is that there are easy, strategic ways you can enjoy college life for less – if you do your homework.