Student Loans-Rising Costs of College Tuition the Culprit?
How much does college tuition cost? Without considering the cost of room and board, here are some average tuition costs.
Public four-year colleges charge, on average, $7,020 per year in tuition and fees for students who live in their state. The average surcharge for full-time out-of-state students at these institutions is $11,528. Private four-year colleges charge, on average, $26,273 per year in tuition and fees. Public two-year colleges charge, on average, $2,544 per year in tuition and fees.
Source: College Board
Seeing the numbers, I would encourage college students to dig up and apply to as many scholarships as you can. If you haven’t already, fill out a FAFSA to see if you qualify for any need based grants. Stay in-state to reduce your educational expenses.
Mint has a wonderful infographic depicting various stats on student loans. I took a snippet of the infographic to highlight the percentage of college students taking out loans and their average amount of debt.
While some student loans may be needed, sometimes there’s a financial danger to taking out large amounts.
Watch Out for Student Loan Lifestyle Inflation
You’re in college, live like a college student. To me that means being independent and focusing on earning what you buy. Using student loans to frivolously enhance your college education isn’t a smart move. Using student loans for books? Good use of the loan in my opinion. Using student loans to get a Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and/or a Wii? Bad use of money and possibly setting yourself up for problems if you are a video game addict.
I say this because I’ve done some of it with a portion of my loans. I got a top of the line computer (it’s for school!) and inflated my lifestyle because it felt good to have money. The truth was I needed to live within my means and should’ve taken enough to cover my college expenses.
Thoughts on Student Loans for College
If you’re cutting costs as best you can and you’re getting a quality education, I think low interest student loans are an option to consider. I would, however, ask you to run the numbers and see how much of a burden your student loans will be after you graduate. What is the average income of a graduate in your major?
Do you think it’s possible to a get a quality education without ANY student loans? What amount of student loans makes you uneasy?
Elle helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second.