What Does College Really Cost?

Melissa Cox CFP® CFSLA

If there is one thing I can count on as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ its that every year college costs rise. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but even state schools increase tuition rates between 6% - 11% annually. This may not sound like very much, but it adds up. Realize that by the time your child graduates, you likely will have paid for at least three, if not four increases.

It is evident now more than ever that is essential to create a comprehensive college plan to shop for college.

The costs of college are expensive and rising.

The cost to attend college is expensive and only rising, which means the money you may have allotted to pay for higher education needs to be taken into account.

“But aren’t there scholarships? Grants?” you may ask.

Yes, there are. However, let me share a personal experience. This is a true scenario and I am sharing it because this happens every year in colleges and universities across the country.

Waiting for financial aid can be stressful.

White sitting in my university’s financial aid office waiting to hear if I qualified for any grants. I was frightened and I could feel my heart beating rapidly. My stomach was in knots. I knew that my parents did not have all the resources to finance my degree and I needed some type of aid if I was going to make this happen. It seemed to be taking forever and I knew that my entire future rested on this moment.

The good news is that yes, I did qualify for aid, but the stress and anxiety experienced throughout those four years, waiting to hear every year what I qualified for was really difficult.

Have you or someone you know experienced this? My decision to attend college was a goal I set at a young age, but the question of how to finance my education weighed heavily on me.

This is the reason I began Cox Collegiate Financial and why this is more than a business for me. My personal and business goal is to help your child and family so you are not left sitting in a financial aid office, waiting for a make or break answer.

There is a better way.

What are current tuition costs.

Let’s talk about where tuition stands now in 2020. Here are some yearly tuition costs for local universities:

           The University of Texas, In-State Tuition:                         $10,582.00

           The University of Oklahoma, In-State Tuition:                  $9,063.00

           Southern Methodist University:                                         $56,560.00

           Abilene Christian University:                                              $36,300.00


Now, let’s look at out of state yearly tuition and how that stacks up:

           The University of Alabama                                                  $31,306.00

           Auburn University                                                                $31,124.00

           The University of North Carolina                                        $36, 159.00


And, if your child is looking towards an Ivy League education, here is the yearly tuition:

           Harvard University                                                               $49,653.00

           Yale University                                                                     $55,500.00

           Stanford University                                                              $55,473.00

           University of Pennsylvania                                                  $53,166.00

Tuition costs are not the only costs to consider when planning for college.


Some of those figures include fees, others do not. None of them include living expenses, meal plans, or other assorted costs such as books and supplies. Regardless of where you want to attend school, it is costly and depending on the institution, you could easily pay upwards of $40,000.00 per year when everything is added in.

And what about the “hidden” costs that people often miss? Will your son or daughter be able to drive home on breaks or will they need to fly? Do the fees include laundry access or will they have to pay extra to do their laundry? Do the dorms offer the option of a room with a kitchen or are they limited to only the school meal plan? Is my child responsible for paying for their team uniforms if they play sports or are those included?

There is a great deal to consider and it can be overwhelming.

Cox Collegiate Planners can help you create a comprehensive college funding plan.

Together, we will plan a better way forward for your entire family. We can look not only at costs, but hidden costs, fees, and how to ensure your child finds a school that will offer them an environment where they will flourish, but will not require them to accrue a great deal of debt.

I not only will help you in terms of planning for the financial cost, but also help you untangle the financial aid, scholarship, grant, and admissions processes. As busy parents, navigating this on your own can be daunting and simply overwhelming.

It is never too late to begin planning ahead and I will work with your family to find the best path forward because your child’s future matters. Together we’ve got this...

Give us a call and let's build a plan for your child's education.

Melissa Anne Cox CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is also a College Funding and Student Loan Advisor, and Financial Coach in Dallas, Texas.

Schedule an online appointment with Melissa Cox CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
Schedule an appointment with Melissa Cox CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

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