Here is the thing. College education costs double every 10 to 12 years. And the prices of college education usually rise faster than inflation and family income. This trend is here to stay.
The reason costs keep going up:
Technology is ever-changing. Keeping up to the pace of technology entails expenses on the college management. For instance, the minute colleges were hard-wired for the internet, wireless technology became the norm. Needless to say, the cost of keeping up with the times can be steep.
Colleges want to attract and retain talented faculty. This translates to providing better salaries and benefits.
Utility costs continue to soar. Take, for instance, heat, electricity, sewer system. The bills keep going up.
There are more students than ever. Hence, colleges need more money to hire more faculty, enlist more staff, offer better food and accommodation to the students, etc.
Improved Student Accommodation
It was very long ago, student accommodation meant dorms. These days, colleges offer comfortable apartment complexes, residential blocks for student stay. They are expensive.
Enhanced student services
Youngsters of today are demanding more services—better dining options, health and fitness centres. Colleges must offer these services to stay competitive with other colleges. The costs can add up.
Concern for Environment
Environmental concerns (asbestos, lead paint, etc.) make many older buildings hazardous. The price for removing these hazards can be hefty, and many colleges choose to build new buildings despite the higher short-term costs.
Many institutions invested significantly in construction projects in the past decade, given the low-interest rates. Schools that borrowed money for these projects must now start paying off those loans. Increasing the cost of tuition is imminent for these schools to cover their new expense.
Given the above factors, there is no telling what college costs will be when your child goes to school.
So, What can you do?
You cannot control or predict how much college will cost, but what can control is your preparedness to beat the peaking cost. Below are a few tips that can make college education expenses a little more manageable:
- Start a college savings plan NOW. It is beyond doubt that you will be staring at a college education expense for your child in a few years. If you plan to do it on your own, having some money stocked is a good idea.
- Focus on scholarships. Keep an eye on scholarships. Encourage your child to pursue challenging coursework, get good grades, be involved in school and community activities, and earn good brownie points in his school and outside. In turn, it could improve his or her chances of getting scholarships.
- Don’t be a shut book while hunting for colleges. There are a variety of schools that offer the degree your child wants. School costs alone don’t necessarily reflect the quality of its education. Research your choices thoroughly. Go beyond your perception.
- Don’t get into debt. If your child is close enough to his college years, it is best to avoid taking on any massive, long-term debt. You are in a better place to take on college expenses when you are free of other loans.
Higher education is precious to your child’s future. At the same time, it is very expensive too. With all indications that only point to an increase in costs, it is good to start now. By doing so, you can be well-positioned to deal with the expenses when the big day arrives.