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Estimating the Cost of College

It doesn’t take a degree in finance to see that the cost of college continues to rise.

In its 2021 report, the College Board showed that in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions increased by 9% in inflation-adjusted dollars between the 2011-12 and 2021-22 school years.1

For many families, the lion’s share of education costs falls on the parents, and in some cases, the grandparents. Families rely on a combination of scholarships, grants, financial aid, part-time jobs, and parental contributions to help cover the cost. There are also a number of resources that can help individuals prepare for college, such as the College Board website and the government student aid website.

If your child is approaching college age, a good first step is estimating the potential costs. The accompanying chart can help you get a better idea about the cost of college.

1. CollegeBoard.org, 2022

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