Tag Archives: cost of college

That precious college education so many dream of and aspire to grows pricier every year, typically outstripping inflation by a considerable margin. The only good news, if you can call it that, is that very few students need to pay full retail if they know what they’re doing. We work closely with many college admissions professionals that know the secrets of negotiating excellent packages. But that process often depends on SAT and ACT scores, the higher the better. Many schools out there offer substantial merit scholarships based on both grades and tests scores, so many in fact that improving SAT & ACT scores should be a priority for every applicant. How much is at stake for students with higher scores? While even perfect test scores cannot guarantee admission to the most competitive colleges, superior SAT & ACT scores almost certainly earn merit money from most other schools. In fact, the…

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“A rising tide,” as they say, “lifts all tuitions.” Perhaps that’s not the traditional saying, but the sentiment remains as accurate this year as ever. According to the College Board, college tuition continues to outstrip inflation. Worse yet, financial aid is not keeping up with the cost increases. The College Board’s new report on Trends in College Pricing 2015 reveals a ton of informative and possibly demoralizing data on changes over time in undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, and other college expenses, derived from the organization’s Annual Survey of Colleges. What are some of the biggest findings?   Average published tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year institutions rose by $1,122 (3.6%), from $31,283 in 2014-15 to $32,405 in 2015-16. Average total charges are $43,921. Average published tuition and fees for in‐state students in the public four‐year sector increased by $265 (2.9% before adjusting for inflation), from $9,145…

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529 plans, tax advantaged investment vehicles designed to make it easier to save and pay for college or alternate post-secondary training, have been in the news lately. These plans, otherwise known as qualified tuition programs, have become somewhat popular with families all too aware of the steadily rising cost of a college education. Over the years, a number of clients have come to us requesting documentation so they could use 529 college savings plan funds to pay for their SAT & ACT prep. The practice become so common that we started telling new clients about the 529 option as a matter of course. Good thing we’re in education, not tax services! The last time a client commented to me on how excited she was about the option of using 529 college funds to pay for prep, I decided to consult an actual accountant to confirm what I thought was true.…

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The numbers are in, but families paying for college this year won’t find much to cheer about. The College Board released the data for Average Published Undergraduate Charges by Sector, 2014-15. Are average costs increasing across the board? Let’s check the figures: — The average annual cost for public four-year institutions for in-state residents is $18,943. — The average annual cost for public four-year institutions for out-of-state residents is $32,762. — The average annual cost for private four-year institutions for in-state residents is $42,419. Shocked? If you’re still standing after absorbing those figures, take a deeper look at the data: These average annual costs combine tuition and fee with room and board, so commuters may be able to shave a few dollars off those totals. The costs listed above represent increases over last year’s costs of 3.0-3.6%. The Average Annual Rate of Inflation for 2013-14 was 1.56%. The total cost…

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Amidst the usual university rankings and discussion of the rising cost of a college education in the United States comes some fascinating news out of, believe it or not, Germany: all public universities in the Deutschland are now tuition free. Exciting, right? But before you pack your teen’s bags with the latest language learning software, consider some of the specifics of this new policy and German higher education. Slate offers a comprehensive explanation, from which we’ve distilled a few important points: 1. YES… this free tuition policy applies even to international students. 2. NO… the German college experience is not like the U.S. college experience. 3. MAYBE… students with the requisite independence and fluency may find this opportunity the path to a low-cost, high-quality college education. What do you think? Can you see your son or daughter attending college in Germany?

Recently, Money Magazine identified Money’s Best Colleges based on the idea of Return on Investment: To find out which of the nation’s roughly 1,500 four-year colleges offer the most bang for your tuition buck, MONEY screened out those with a below-average graduation rate and then ranked the 665 that remained on 18 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings… Congratulations, Babson! Money used Payscale.com data, which assembled its own rankings. Congratulations, Harvey Mudd! But is ROI even a meaningful question when considering colleges? I ask the question not because I have an answer, but rather because anyone engaged in the college admissions process should have a clear idea of what they are shopping for. Consultant Parke Muth addresses the issue by analyzing various trends that impact higher education. If you’re grappling with the question of how to evaluate different college choices, you might be interested in this sweeping…

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