Kids Parents Whitney's Blog

Why Is a College Education So Expensive?

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 6.21.49 PM I’m going a little off topic today after I was tagged yesterday on Facebook in this post, The Top 10 Most Expensive Private Colleges in America. It was actually posted on July 4th but it was just yesterday that a fellow grad discovered it and shared it with a bunch of us.  The link takes you to #8, my alma mater, Trinity College. Ugh. Not exactly the top 10 list you want to see your college on, especially when you’re starting to think about college for your own kids.

Over the years, I’ve seen my college ranked in the top 25 liberal arts college list as well as the top 10 party schools. The second gave me a good laugh but this latest, coming at a time when we’ve amped up college savings for our 10 & 7 year old, definitely made me a little sick to my stomach.

We have 8 years before Nate goes off to college.  8 years.  The rising cost of college scares the CRAP out of me.  Because while I had an amazing four years of college and truly wouldn’t go anywhere else if I could turn back the clock, I wonder how we’ll ever be able to afford the same kind of education my husband and I had (small, liberal arts) for our children.

1009-college-savings-11-3 For now, we’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing – trying to save as best we can via our kids’ 529 Plans.  {See a related article I wrote about it after a luncheon at Vanguard Saving for College – why a 529Plan is the Way to Go}  I’ll also be turning to blogger friends and resources online to hopefully figure out how we can make it happen.  I did a quick hop over to the best financial Mom Blogger I know, Kelly from the Centsible Life, and she talks here on the Facts about College Costs and Debt.

I guess it’s comforting to hear that student loans are so abundant but Kelly says that student loan debt is more than credit card and auto loan debts combined.  Friggin’ grim.  No one wants to go into debt.

Still, I for one think you can’t put a price on your child’s education.  The education and experiences I got from my own college, while really expensive for my parents, were pretty priceless in the end and I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else (thanks Mom & Dad!).

So. If my boys want to go to my alma mater and they get in, we’ll do what we can to get them there.  If they want to go to Penn State and get in there, I may do a bit of a happy dance that it costs a bit less. (although still expensive, even in-state!)  And in the meantime, we’ll save and I’ll pray that the cost of higher education tuition will cap out at some point before then because it’s getting out. of. control.

1 thought on “Why Is a College Education So Expensive?”

  1. Srsly scary and shocking! We’ve already started an account for Shep – 19 months old! Our family tradition of spending most of what we have on our children’s education is one that will continue; I consider it one of the greatest gifts Mom and Dad gave us.So yeah- I wore your hand-me-downs, we didn’t have the racquetball court in our pool house (or a pool), we were driven to school in a ford or a Chevy and we vacationed in Florida – not Venice or even Bermuda. But, man, did we have fun? We are so lucky our parents sacrifices made possible a Trinity education. They also gave us the opportunity to learn what is important- and it’s not the new nike airs with the bubbles (circa 1991) everyone in the fifth grade is sporting. $ can buy is a killer education which essentially is freedom to do whatever you want and be whomever you chose.

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