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The Skyrocketing Cost of Higher Education

Topics: Current Events

The cost of higher education continues to grow faster than inflation. What is a college student to do?

(Photo Credit: MDGovpics/Flickr)

CBS MoneyWatch reports that while the cost of one year in college during the 2012-2013 school year was around $50,000, elite schools such as Sarah Lawrence College are edging their way up to costing over $60,000 for one year. This figure includes tuition, fees, room, and board.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

According to CBS MoneyWatch, when the prestigious schools such as Harvard, Dartmouth, and Sarah Lawrence raise tuition it causes many other colleges and universities throughout the nation to follow suit. This seems to be the “keeping up with the Joneses” of higher education. Unfortunately, it hurts all students. 

Paying the Cost of Higher Education 

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is right now. If you (or your children) are planning on going to college, start saving and planning today.

The federal government offers financial aid. Apply for FAFSA loans for the best interest rate.

Don’t be afraid of applying for merit aid and any scholarships. The worst that can happen is they say no, and you are no worse off than before. The other possibility is that they say yes. Similar to scholarships, Pell Grants do not need to be repaid.

Return on Investment

The good news is that PayScale has researched the return on investment (ROI) for students who graduate from a variety of colleges and universities. For schools such as Harvard and Dartmouth, students spend $200,000 – $250,000 on tuition over the course of four years, but their annualized net ROI is almost 7 percent. Over the course of 30 years, their ROI is over one million dollars.

If you manage pay the high tuitions, it may be financially worth it in the long run.

Tell Us What You Think

How did you pay for your education, or how are you planning to pay for it? Leave us a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.

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