I’m sorry to report this to you–my California neighbors, but according to the College Board, public in-state tuition to our California Universities increased by 21% for the 2011-2012 academic school year. It was the highest increase by any state of the union. If that statistic isn’t bad enough, here are the average costs of upper education as taken from the College Board’s nation poll for the 2011-2012 academic school year:
- Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions average $8,244 in 2011-12, $631 (8.3 percent) higher than in 2010-11. Average total charges, including tuition and fees and room and board, are $17,131, up 6.0 percent.
- Published out-of-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities average $20,770, $1,122 (5.7 percent) higher than in 2010-11. Average total charges are $29,657, up 5.2 percent.
- Published in-state tuition and fees at public two-year colleges average $2,963, up 8.7 percent from 2010-11.
- Published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities average $28,500 in 2011-12, 4.5 percent higher than in 2010-11. Average total charges, including tuition and fees and room and board, are $38,589, up 4.4 percent.
- Published tuition and fees at for-profit institutions average an estimated $14,487 in 2011-12, 3.2 percent higher than in 2010-11.
What recourse does this leave the average family to pay for college, nevertheless trying to make ends meet? By using familiarizing yourself with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), using tax-wise college savings accounts, parent loans, scholarships, and direct private university discounts, we can develop a plan to soften the hit of these costs that many of us deem necessary. If you own your own business, there may be other creative ways to help make college more affordable.
Allowing your child to be involved in the process of selecting a school (or strategic plan of schools—i.e. community college for 2-years, then a state or private university), conducting early research into qualifications of loans, costs, and discounts can then be more clearly anticipated. All too often, college planning is put off until….college time! Responsibilities should be defined from the beginning so that both you and your student know what to expect of eachother.
By judiciously developing a plan to finance this seemingly imperative necessity, and arming yourself with some knowledge on what tools, finance, and savings options are available, the college years can be viewed in a positive light by both you and your kids. I’m available to help you make this plan! For more information on your own, check out http://www.collegeboard.org/.