NCFS College Planning Center
Projected College Cost | Print |
College Planning Center - College Planning Center

As the chart below clearly demonstrates, the rising cost of a college education is rather intimidating. But it doesn't have to be - if you plan ahead! 

What college will cost, and the monthly savings needed to pay for it


With the cost of a college education so high many families ask themselves: Is it worth all the expense? We think the following chart clearly answers that question.  

Potential Earnings of a College Graduate

College cost are rising every year. On the average, colleges cost nearly twice as much as they did ten years ago. This makes it imperative to put together a realistic financial plan for meeting educational costs, regardless of when those costs will occur.  

Planning allows families to maximize their own resources and find the extra outside help in various forms of financial aid. The earlier parents start to accumulate funds for their children's education, the better prepared they will be to address the sky rocketing cost of college; as well as reduce the burden that a student will have to earn or borrow while enrolled or repay after completing college.

Remember, families must set realistic goals. They first need to determine how much college is likely to cost when their child enrolls and then determine what return they can reasonably expect on their cash accumulations.

Early Financial Planning

The importance of saving to meet college costs can’t be overemphasized. The following suggestions can help students and parents develop a long-term financial plan. 

Parents might suggest that a student put aside a portion of any money received as gifts over the years as well as part of earnings from part-time work. 

However, an important point should be made here. Parents should not put their own savings in the student’s account. This is because a maximum of 6 percent of a parents savings will be included in the family contribution. But 35 percent of the student’s assets and savings are considered available for each academic year. 

Parents who put their own savings in a child’s account because it may offer tax advantages, later find that it reduces the student's eligibility for financial aid. 

Policies and procedures change. There is no guarantee that the methods used today to determine eligibility for assistance will be used when your family applies. Also keep in mind that financial aid officers at any college have some discretion. Be sure to bring any special circumstances to their attention. However, note that there is no allowance made for consumer debt. Unfortunately, in today’s society, having considerable debt is not unusual. But it won’t be taken into account in determining a family's contribution.