Rising College Costs

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Physician's Money Digest, March31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 6

Trends inCollege Pricing 2003

Physicians should always be aware ofthe skyrocketing tuition costs for theircollege-bound child. In the report from theCollege Board, a national nonprofit association,the average cost of tuition andfees at America's 4-year colleges and universitieshas sharply risen 42% at privateinstitutions and 47% at public institutionssince 1993. A year of tuition at aprivate university, not including roomand board, is now $19,710; a publicschool averages $4694. Jim Boyle, presidentof College Parents of America(www.collegeparents.org), a nonprofitorganization that provides resources andinformation to parents, estimates thatover the next decade, the total cost of 1year at a private university will rangefrom $40,000 to $60,000. Parents must,therefore, plan very early to avoid incurringbig debts later. Savings plans such asstate-sponsored 529 plans are excellentways to save for young children. Parentswhose children are now college ageshould consider Parents' Loans for UndergraduateStudents, which are lowinterestfederal loans that are availablethrough the Federal Family EducationLoan Program.