For many, accumulating funds for the children’s education is a savings goal that is often thought about, but seldom acted upon. There are numerous reasons why saving for college is an essential need.
- Economics: Statistically, the average worker with a 4-year college education earns far more than the average worker with only a high school diploma.
- Increasing costs: In recent years, college costs have increased at a rate greater than the general rate of inflation.1
- Years of study: Four years of study may not be sufficient. In many professions, six or even eight years of study are required.
What is a College Education Worth?
College educated, full-time workers statistically enjoy a higher median income than those with less education. In a recent report on education and earnings,2 the Census Bureau found that those with four years of college could expect to have substantially higher annual earnings than high school graduates.
Over a lifetime of work, 39 years on average, a four-year college education can increase a man’s total income by over $1,153,074. Because of time spent raising children, the average woman spends 28 years in the workforce. A college education could increase her lifetime earnings by over $590,072.1
What Does a College Education Cost?
In recent years, college costs have often exceeded the general rate of inflation. The table below projects college costs for a small group of well-known institutions:
1 Figures do not take inflation into account.
2 Annual costs are for the 2018-2019 academic year and include tuition, fees, and on-campus room and board. Books, transportation, and personal expenses are additional. Costs for out-of-state students at public institutions are higher.