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The average student debt for a college graduate in 2017 was $39,400 — up six percent from 2016. If your child plans to go to college, this number will probably shock you. As a parent, though, you need to make some tough decisions about your child’s future, especially when it comes to student tuition and loans. Here are three things you should consider about the cost of college.
Tuition costs fluctuate depending on the college. The average cost of tuition and fees in the 2017-2018 year, however, was $34,740 for state residents at public colleges and $25,620 for out-of-state residents at public colleges.
Although these amounts seem high, you need to consider what’s included in the price. Typically, colleges cover the cost of library services, campus transportation, and other facilities in their fees. Some colleges include housing and food costs in their fees, but others don’t. This is why it’s a good idea to do your own research when your child is applying to college.
There are other costs to consider, too. These include books and learning materials, clothes, and other personal expenses.
Thinking about loans might stress you out, but student finance is something you definitely need to consider long before your child goes to college. Start by visiting the Federal Student Aid website and find out how much your child could borrow.
Currently, there are four types of federal loans available to students: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans. and Direct Consolidation Loans. Each of these loans has different eligibility requirements, so research each one carefully.
Your child could also receive a government grant or scholarship.
You might also need to obtain a student loan from a private company. These will provide your child with financial support if a federal loan isn’t enough to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses.
Various private lenders specialize in student finance. Read comparison reviews of the best online loan sites to compare different lenders at the same time.
Consider the three things on this list before your child goes to college. It’s also important that you discuss tuition, fees, and loans with your child so he or she can learn about money management.