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Where Are the College Savings?

With the cost of college increasing and incomes staying the same, is the degree worth all the debt?

I am a big proponent of continuing education; however with the current economic times, I am really questioning if the debt is worth it for the degree. I recently saw an article questioning if the cost of the college degree is still worth it. Incomes seem to be hovering at the same level with the cost of living increases.

When my daughter was born in 2006, the projection for the cost of college when she will be attending in 2024 was close to $300,000. It has increased since then.

As a parent of two, I can’t fathom how we will be able to afford that kind of cost. I can only hope that they will qualify for some kind of scholarship or aid.

I asked a few friends at work how they intend to save for their children’s college. One answer struck me. He told me that there are student loans for college, but there’s no loan for retirement. On one hand he is correct. If we put all our money into our kid’s college, how are we going to save money for our own retirement?

Then there’s the other side. If we let our children go to college on loans, they could potentially graduate with a whopping quarter a million dollars debt to pay. This begs the question: If our children spend the first 20-30 years paying off their student loans, how will they ever save for their retirement?

Saving for college is a big decision that will affect everyone’s future. What are your  plans regarding your children’s college savings? Do you think that the degree  is worth the debt?

Patrick Cissne June 28, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Its an incredible question. I deal with families that are getting ready to send their children to college and help them increase their financial aid. I am always amazed at how many parents feel obligated to pay for their kids education. They say, "my parents paid for my college, and I came out with very little debt. So I feel I owe the same to my kids." The only problem is that college was 8k a year when they went, today it is 30-45k, and getting worse. As far as loans are concerned, consider a kid that pays 800 per month to pay down 150k for his student loans over a 20 year period. If he was to direct that same 800 to an account gaining an average of 5% interest, he would have an additional 400,000-500,000 in savings at the end of 20 years. Over a 40 year period, by the time they are at retirment age, they could have over 1 million. These are just estimates, but its an interesting way to look at the whole issue.
Alexis Fillos June 30, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Those are some interesting figures to consider. My father took care of my college tuition and I can certainly understand the feeling of wanting to pay it forward to the next generation. The economy is just are so different; it's overwhelming.

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