Paying For College: What Students Can Teach Their Parents About Today's Tuition


The price of higher education has drastically evolved in the recent years. While part-time jobs were enough to cover the cost of tuition before, it may still help with college expenses but it is no longer enough to encompass all bills.

However, parents of today's college students have outdated ideas such as still thinking that their kids can just look for part-time jobs and it would be enough to cover their expenses in university. Some also think that it's bad to take out student loans.

U.S. News shared three lessons that students can teach their parents about today's tuition. The economic landscape has shifted and parents need to be aware about it.

1. A part-time job can no longer cover tuition fee costs.

Back in the day, your parents may have been able to pay for their college education with just a weekend job at the mall. Today, it's almost impossible to have entry-level pay cover tuition. Nowadays, students would need to render about 991 hours at minimum wage to be able to pay for one year of in-state tuition and fees.

It was previously reported that the average full cost of a year of public college was $2,870 back in the early '80s. The average today is already nearing $20,000 for a year.

2. Student loans are okay.

Whereas your parents may have been able to graduate without much debt, it's unrealistic to expect today's generation to pay the same way decades ago. Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, advised college students to take on a reasonable amount in federal loans, which is no more than their expected first year's salary.

Student loan debt can be minimized with these 10 steps, though. Upcoming freshmen just need to be wise in dealing with this type of investment.

3. Nobody pays the sticker price.

"I think a lot of parents think that sticker price is what they'd pay," Draeger added. "But very few people are paying the list price at a college or university." Some colleges make cuts on tuition and other fees through need-based and merit-based aid to attract students. Schools have net price calculators that can help you and your parents get the estimated cost.

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