What will college cost? It’s still confusing

Net price calculators  – now required on nearly all college web sites — let future students enter their personal information and get an estimate on the true cost of a specific college, including financial aid, not just the “sticker price.” But the calculators are difficult to find, use, and compare.

Not surprisingly, people who borrowed heavily for college now say they didn’t understand what they were getting into.

Parents can borrow unlimited amounts through federal Parent Plus loans, regardless of their ability to repay the loans. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of parents face garnished wages (and Social Security checks) and ruined credit.

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  1. In reality, it won’t matter what the cost of college is, due to the fact within 10 years if we don’t get a handle on unfunded liabilities, college costs will be the least of everyone’s worries.

    There was a report just yesterday that public pension future liabilities are anywhere between 900 Billion and 1.2 Trillion dollars. I don’t know about you, but lawmakers who continue to give away the cash just to continue to get re-elected will be the death of the American Society.

    According to the latest US Debt Clock readout, here is what the student loan debt amount is:

    926 BILLION dollars, whereas Credit Card Debt is 838 BILLION dollars, with a total unfunded taxpayer liability of 121 TRILLION dollars.


  2. Bostonian says:

    Few people are confused by what a gallon of milk costs in the grocery store, since the price is clearly labelled and is the same for everyone. Net college prices are based on “need”, but need is a very complicated thing to define. To what extent you consider parents’ and childrens’ regular savings accounts, retirement accounts, home equity? What are the pros and cons of various types of student and parental loans? When you move away from the simplest model — everyone pays the same price, up front — in the name of fairness, smarter children with savvy, college-educated parents (who share information with similar parents) navigate the system much better than the “disadvantaged”. Therefore financial aid does not benefit the poor and middle class as much as intended.