BOSTON (CBS) – College costs have been in the news a lot lately. Private schools up 4% and public schools up 8% for this year. But that is really not new news. That’s about the average for the last 15 years. So that should be part of your planning, college will be more expensive in the future!

And if your kiddo wants to take the December SATs, she needs to register by tomorrow, November 8th.

And of the 1.5 million kids who take the PSATs in their junior year, only about 8,000 qualify for a merit scholarship. So if your kid is not acing her SATs with 800 scores how are you going to pay for college?

And who should pay? Mom and Dad? The kids? Combination? Where should the kiddo go to school? Highschool seniors and their families are struggling with these issues right now.

Harvard’s tuition for this year is $36,305 up over $1,300 from last year ($34,976) and the room and board is $12,801. And then you add in all of those extras like fees, books, a computer, midnight pizza runs, travel and the current school year could cost over $57,000. You can probably figure on a $250,000 price tag for four years.

Tuition at UMass for this year is $12,612. Room and board another $9,512. Don’t forget the fees, health care, books, transportation and the cell phone, a new computer and new clothes. With inflation factored in the price tag for four years could be close to $100,000. An out of state student would pay an additional $13,000 a year in tuition.

The average private college education price tag is not quite double that coming in at around $160,000 for four years.

I do believe an education is a good investment! That investment could be worth well over a $1 million dollars to the kiddo. That’s the average pay difference over a working career between having a highschool diploma compared to a college degree.

But the investment is in the kid so they should be part of the planning and the paying. And when getting that degree they should consider a marketable degree, something that will get them a job upon graduation.

If you don’t have the big bucks to send the kid to a private college this should be on the table long before applications are being filled out. Talking about what the family can afford should begin when they reach middle school or sooner.

Kids need to be a part of this process. They can easily be responsible for their spending money, clothes, entertainment, books and some of the fees depending on the job they have. And they should have a job over the summer to earn money for school.

Hanging out at the beach or the pool, playing video games during the day is not how they should be spending their summer vacation. I know we want our kids to be kids as long as they can, but they want the adult privileges like driving at 16 so they should go to work to pay for those privileges.

One more thing:  If a kid is really bright and wants to go to Harvard there may be enough aid offered to make it cheaper than sending the kid to a state college.

  1. JAW says:

    Completely agree..great job with this story, well done.

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