College Costs: What’s The Cost Of No College?

tuition.gifCollege costs increase at about twice the inflation rate. Current increases have averaged 5% to 8%.

It is no secret that college tuition and expenses have been on a steady rise for many years. This has many families worried that they will not be able to afford to send their kids to college. Many even shy away from encouraging their children to dream of a college education. Trade skills are almost being forced on the younger generation. The daunting and staggering college costs are changing the way that we raise our kids.

Imagine if you were told not to dream. What if you told your parents that you wanted to be a doctor and they just had to turn you down? What does this do to the self esteem of a young child? Many families, college educated or not, struggle to keep up with housing costs and the cost of living in general. Saving for college simply is not in the cards for a lot more families than many would like to believe. What does this mean for the future of our country?

We are trending towards generation after generation of minimum wage and poverty level workers. What happens then? They can not afford college for their children and so the cycle continues. If you have been worried about affording college for your children, then there are some things that you should realize.

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So, you are wondering if college is really worth the cost. Consider college an investment. Not only is college an investment in your child’s self esteem and job satisfaction, but it is also an investment in your family and country. College graduates earn an average of sixty percent more than their peers. This makes an earning difference of almost one million dollars over a lifetime. With all of the college grants, financial aid, student and parent loans, there is almost no excuse for denying your child this investment in their future.

You may have to make short-term sacrifices to afford loan payments, but it should be well worth the effort. Students can defer payments until after they graduate. There are even payment plans that are income based, which means that your child will not have to pay more than they can afford as they get older. If you are worried about being responsible for hefty loan payments between times of employment, do not worry too much. Most student loans have deferment periods that can put your payments on hold until you are employed again. The government and loan companies have all sorts of special benefits and payment breaks for student loans.

The government does want our children to be able to afford college. We need professionals in our society to function. This does not mean that the rich are the only ones able to get educated and continue to be rich. Many loans are income based and your child can get just about as much help as they need. If they do not get as much as you need for actual college costs, then there are parent PLUS loans and private student loans to consider. These are available on top of Federal Student Loans, scholarships and financial aid. Do not stifle your child’s dreams. Encourage them to make a better life for themselves as well as their children and grandchildren. Choosing to go to college can affect many generations to come and, yes, our families’ futures are worth the cost.

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4 Responses

  1. Cyril Gupta says:

    I am in a country where college education is really cheap. College is heavily subsidised and everyone who’s bright enough to get into one, usually gets there. But even here I don’t rate college education too highly.

    Maybe things are different when you’re talking about a Doctor. But I’d surely recommend technical or specialised training over college any day.

  2. Robert Barrett says:

    Thought this link may be appropriate http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/story?id=4298321

    Its a story about a college graduate who intentionally became homeless “to test the vivacity of the American Dream”.

    Life is what you make it….degree, or no degree

  3. Terry Rummelt Jr. says:

    College is extremely important! On average someone with a college degree will make a million dollars more over their lifetime, than someone without a degree. I read a book called “Cash For College,” that gives you the inside secrets of college funding and finacial aid. I have stuff about the author, Daniel Wansten, posted on my blog. The information in this book is invaluable when it comes to helping your child go to the college of their dreams.

  4. Marco says:

    I’m planning on sending my kids to study abroad. Even taking into account the extra expense of living in a foreign country, it’s still cheaper than a U.S. education and, if you choose carefully, just as good if not better. For example, in Mexico the largest university (UNAM) is publicly funded and free, and it’s ranked in the Top 100 universities in the world. If you want more prestige, Monterrey’s Tec (ITESM) is an excellent choice, and the tuition will not break your bank. In fact, for a private university-level institution Tec’s tuition rates are lower than many so called “public” universities in the US. And this is just Mexico. There are hundreds of other schools worldwide where your kids can achieve not just a higher level of education, but also learn the value of a foreign language and culture, without having to mortgage your future and theirs with exorbitant student loans that may take decades to pay back. Indeed, when it comes to higher education, the United States is starting to lag behind the rest of the world and I wouldn’t want my kids to be at a disadvantage when it’s time to enter the workforce.

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