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College Education: Tuition Costs, Financing, and More

Are you preparing for your child’s educational future? TDECU offers a guide on how to prepare for the cost of college.

College Education: Tuition Costs, Financing, and More

A college education is very important and it is best to start saving early for the cost of tuition, books, living and other expenses. First-time undergraduate students will most likely complete a four-year degree. Parents begin saving as early as grade school or high school depending on the level of higher education they expect for their child.

The Average Cost of College

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average cost of a full-time college student is $35,331 per student per year. The average cost of in-state tuition alone is $9,349. The average out-of-state tuition is $20,000. With interest on student loans and other college-related expenses, the total cost of a bachelor's degree can reach $400,000.

So, when it comes to investing in higher education, having the advice of a wealth advisor is extremely beneficial. Wealth advisers can assist you and your prospective college student with financial planning by establishing a college planning fund to assist with tuition and saving for other college expenses.

Costs to Consider

  • Tuition
  • Educational expenses (books/school supplies)
  • Room and board (including meals)
  • Fees
  • Transportation
  • Computer, printer, and other electronics
  • Extra costs

The Average Cost of Tuition

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average college tuition for first-time, full-time undergraduate students attending four-year institutions in the academic year 2019–20 was:

  • Average net price of attendance (total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) at public institutions was $14,200
  • $28,100 at private nonprofit institutions 
  • $23,200 at private for-profit institutions

Tuition rates depend on the type of school the student is attending.

Community College

Each semester, community college students pay an average of $1,865 in tuition. In-state students pay $4,864 per year, while out-of-state students pay $8,622 per year to attend a public community college in the United States. The average cost of tuition at private two-year community colleges is $15,100.

Different Types of Student Aid

There are many different opportunities and options for students who want to go to college but do not have a savings fund.

Apply for Financial Aid

Financial aid is money given to students to assist in paying for college or vocational education. Grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships can help you afford a college or career school. You can get financial aid from a variety of sources to help you pay for your education.

Student Loans

Private student loans are are typically issued by a financial institution, (as opposed to federal student loans, which are offered by the government). They assist in paying for college by covering financial gaps and supplying necessary finances to cover educational costs. When applying for your loan, make sure you know what options are available and choose the right one that works best for you. Student loans are a good solution for students who want to pay them off in a reasonable time frame.

Apply for Scholarships

A scholarship provides academic possibilities for students. They can apply for academic, athletic, merit aid, identity-based scholarships, and more. Scholarships often allow students to broaden their academic experience through internships or study abroad programs. Students usually start applying for scholarships in their junior or senior academic year of high school. TDECU offers a scholarship for eligible members.

Grants and Work-Study

Grants, similar to scholarships, are money provided by the U.S. Department of Education that generally does not have to be repaid. Grants, as well as all Federal Student Aid, start with filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (shortened to FAFSA®). The most recognizable grant is the Federal Pell Grant, which is given to undergraduate students who display a strong financial need. But there are many grant opportunities available and they can be found with a little research. The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to put toward their expenses.

Plan for Your Child’s Bachelor’s Degree

Planning for your child’s education is crucial. TDECU is here to help you and your child plan for a college career. Visit our website to learn more.

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