That’s the mark, in dollars, that U.S. student loan debt just passed, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
According to the College Board, the 2011-12 published total cost for tuition, fees, and room and board at an in-state four-year public institution averaged $17,131.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Business Insider there is nearly $70,000 in additional college costs that isn’t included in that $17,131 amount, including college tour costs, computers, transportation, laundry, cell phone, etc.
According to Forbes magazine, even at a base rate of $17,131 per year, with the cost of college increasing at an average of 8% per year, “Parents of a two-year old starting a college savings plan would have to save about $925 per month at 4% earnings growth to pay for four years of college.
Even if they were able to earn an 8% average growth rate on their savings, they would still need to save around $600 per month to do it.”
Parents now have to research ways to get financial aid for their child’s college education and much sooner.
Some options include: scholarships for average students, high-award scholarships, and 529 saving plans.