College costs HOW MUCH?!?

The cost of college tuition, on average, doubles every nine years. Shocking, isn’t it? Another way to say it is that on average, college costs go up about eight percent per year. On average, tuition and costs of college living go up between six and nine percent per year, but the overage average is about eight percent. It sounds less oppressive when phrased that way, but both descriptions mean the same thing – once per decade the cost of getting a college degree doubles.

Start saving for school now! Photo by Tax Credits

Start saving for school now! Photo by Tax Credits

What’s even more frightening? Based on those rates, a child born today will have to pay TRIPLE current tuition prices. For any parents out there, I hope I didn’t induce a heart attack for you. But that is the scary truth.

When I put it that way, it’s much more motivating to get in school TODAY isn’t it? Going back to school is something that is very easy to put off until next year. It costs a lot, takes a lot of time and effort and brain power. But every year a person waits, those costs get higher and higher.

It is accepted that the inflation of tuition is approximately double that of normal inflation. While prices on food, gas, and everything else always rise over time, college costs rise at twice that rate. This is not something that is a current trend or new development – these rates have stayed very true since 1958. The rates fluctuate, but one thing that stays steady is that tuition rises and double the regular inflation rate. For over fifty years and counting.

And now that taxes and supposed to increase, and spending is supposed to decrease, we may see a bigger jump in inflation, which means a HUGE jump in the cost of tuition.

So what are you waiting for? Prices for college will never keep cheaper. They never have, and it stands to reason they never will. The lowest a person will ever pay for college is the cost of tuition right this moment. Every semester you wait, the cost goes up.

And that whole eight percent figure I used was just an average. Some schools may not increase that much, but other schools will increase a lot more. In 2011, California State University San Marcos raised its tuition prices by a whopping thirty one percent. University of New Hampshire jumped its tuition up by eleven percent, making it the higher priced public university in the country. Overall, the average price for a private school (tuition and cost of living) went up to about $42,000. That’s PER YEAR.

Because incomes for families have been decreasing the last few years, these slowly rising costs for school are taking a higher and higher percentage of a family’s income. And it doesn’t help that more and more scholarships are being shifted from “need-based” (for low income families) to “merit-based” (for students who excel, something that favors for affluent families).

So, to re-state my point – don’t wait. If you want to get in school, its best to do it now.

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