College Costs

  • StraighterLine Costs Less . . . and We’re Not Just Talking Tuition

    Barry Lenson

    “Buying” a year of college is a lot like buying a car . . . A car always costs more than sticker price. You get stuck with interest payments on a loan, with options that come out of nowhere, with an extended warrantee, and lots more.  A car you thought you could buy for $25,000 suddenly is costing you $30,000. Funny how that works, isn’t it? A year of college always costs more than tuition. Tuition sounds steep enough all by itself. But then the college tacks on extra fees and charges.  You thought you were going to have to pay $20,000 for a year of college at your state school (or $40,000 at a private college or university) and suddenly you are signing up to pay $11,000 more than that. Kind of like getting kicked in the stoma ...

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  • $2,500 Annual Tuition Tax Credit Preserved in Fiscal Cliff Deal

    Barry Lenson

    As you know, Congress and the White House reached an agreement a few days ago that prevented our economy from falling off the so-called “fiscal cliff.” But you might not have noticed that at the same time, American college students and their families dodged a financial bullet too. As part of the agreement, The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which has been around since 2010, was preserved. If you are a college student, chances are that you have already been taking advantage of it. It allows families to get an annual tax credit of up to $2,500 to help pay for educational expenses. Students and their families can take advantage of the credit for up to four years. So the net is, students and their families can get as much as a $10,000 ...

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  • Why Do College Degrees Cost 1,000 Percent More than they Did Three Decades Ago?

    Barry Lenson

    “The Student Debt Crisis,” a recent post from the Center for American Progress, points out that the cost of college has increased far faster than the cost of just about anything else you can name. To quote from the article . . . “In the past three decades, the cost of attaining a college degree has increased more than 1,000 percent. Two-thirds of students who earn four-year bachelor’s degrees are graduating with an average student loan debt of more than $25,000, and 1 in 10 borrowers now owe more than $54,000 in loans.” All those statistics are remarkable enough. But today, let’s just focus in on the fact that the cost of a college degree has increased 1,000% since 1982. Our editors put together this list of statistics, wh ...

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  • Grandparents Pay for Your College Education . . . what a great holiday gift for you!

    Barry Lenson

    If you have grandparents – and I hope you do – you have probably noticed that they can be a lot like parents, only better. Many of them focus on the good stuff you do, without fixating on your mistakes the way many parents do. Most of them light up with pleasure every time they see you. And many of them are actually eager to help build your future success. So . . . how about getting your grandparents to help you pay for college? If you have the right kind of grandmother and grandfather, chances are they would love to help you out – it would be a true win/win agreement: they would feel great about helping you, and you would save money on college. (Your parents might even win something too, but let them figure that out on their own.) ...

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  • 4 Great Ways to Reduce the Cost of College

    Beth Dumbauld

    By Sani Golriz Just a few short years ago it seemed that college was the natural next step for graduating high-schoolers. It allowed them to move on to a whole new level of education, helping them develop the skills and knowledge they'd need for the bright, shining future that seemed guaranteed on graduation day. Today, though, the landscape is very different. The cost of tuition has increased (and has done, in fact, at around twice the rate of inflation every year since The Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show), and an increasing number of parents are unable to set aside enough savings to help pay for higher education. What's more, with the economy in a shambles and unemployment at its highest rate in recent history, college studen ...

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