Parents of children born today should be prepared to pay a hefty price for college tuition, if current trends in tuition costs don’t change. According to new analysis by The Daily, the class of 2034 will pay an average of $288,000 in 2011 dollars at a four-year private school and $123,000 at an average public school.
That’s an increase of 111 percent and 167 percent, respectively, from the average class of 2012 tuition:
New moms and dads with visions of Ivy League degrees dancing in their heads should be prepared to face a bill of $422,320 in today’s dollars if Junior heads off to one the country’s priciest colleges as a member of the class of 2034.
If college costs keep rising as they have for the last three decades, the inflation-adjusted price of four years of tuition alone will more than double at private colleges and nearly triple at public universities by the time a baby born this year is ready to enroll, an analysis by The Daily shows.
Jane Wellman, executive director of the Delta Cost Project, notes that public universities in particular have been relying on tuition increases to boost revenue and offering less financial aid.
The Daily points out that tuition increases wouldn’t be so bad if family incomes were keeping pace. But they aren’t, as “in real terms, the incomes of families with at least one child under age 18 have grown only about 1 percent since 1987.” Those bleak trends mean that college costs will put even more of a strain on families in the future, and probably result in fewer students being able to receive a college education. For the first time ever, outstanding student loans will exceed $1 trillion this year, and Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards.