The inescapable fact is that college just keeps getting more and more expensive. Where I live, our state university just raised this year’s in-state tuition in its school of arts and sciences to nearly $5,000 a semester for 15 credit hours. That’s $10,000 a year, not counting room and board, which averages about 1/3 of college costs.
Keep those kids at home?
Tuition has not only gone up in most schools, so has room and board. This is why many parents are keeping their college-bound kids at home where they can drive to classes. Some are even asking their kids to begin saving for college at age 13.
What parents are asking
Almost 50% of parents recently surveyed said they plan to request that their kids save some of their own money to help pay for college and a quarter of them have already asked their children to begin saving. Many of these parents are also asking their children to make some compromises in their college experience. In fact, 49% of these parents said they are thinking of having their child stay at home and go to a school where they can commute to save money.. That’s an increase from the 34% who said this in 2007 when the survey was first done.
Public vs. private
Forty-three percent of the parents who responded to this survey said they would suggest their child attend a public school and 57% are asking their kids to work part-time while in school. Some 27% will ask their kids to graduate in fewer semesters. And 65% said they will require their child to maintain a certain GPA–for example they will help pay tuition only if their child has a GPA of 3.1 or higher.
Majors that lead to better paying jobs
This survey also revealed that some parents are encouraging their kids to choose majors that will lead to high-paying jobs. In fact, 40% of these parents said. They would give their kids a nudge towards majors such as nursing, computer science, engineering, biology and accounting.
$14,600 in debt
Parents in the survey said that they expect their kids to graduate owing an average of $14,600 in student loan debt, which would be considerably lower than the $25,250 debt load that the average college student currently has. They also anticipate that it will take their child about 8 years to pay off the debt.
Haven’t discussed the subject
The study’s most disappointing finding was that only 31% of these parents had talked to their kids about college costs, future job opportunities and potential debt. This means a staggering 69% haven’t adequately broached the subject. Families really need to have conversations about these costs and about debt because when they do, a significant amount decide to make alternations to their plans.
Student loan debt is like a relative that just won’t leave
The second biggest problem with student loan debt is that there is effectively no way to get rid of it. You can’t dismiss this debt even with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once you accumulate student loan debt, its pretty much there until you pay it off. On the other hand, if you’re head over heels in credit card debt, we can help. Our debt counselors can negotiate with your credit card companies to get your debts reduced probably by thousands of dollars. They will also work with you to develop a payment plan that you can afford and that can get you out of debt in 24 to 48 months. This is called debt settlement and it’s something we’ve been helping families with for many years. In fact, we’ve helped more than 100,000 families become debt-free and live better, less stressful lives.