CNN.com recently wrote an article on How to pay for college. According to the Student Loan Marketing Association, the average tuition, room and board at a private college is $43,921. Public tuition for in-state students at state colleges amounted to $19,548, with out-of-state students paying an average of $34,031.

  • 34% of tuition bills are paid from scholarships and grants that don’t have to be paid back. That is they come from the college itself or the state or federal government, often based on need and academic performance.
  • 29% of the total bill (an average of $7,000) out of parent’s savings or income.
  • Grandparent, aunts and uncles paying another 5%.
  • Students pay, on average, 12%.
  • 20% of the total is made up of loans.

Here’s the breakdown of how loans are funded:

Low-interest loan program offered by the federal government

  • Up to $5,500 a year for freshmen
  • $6.500 during the sophomore year
  • $7,500 for the junior and senior years.

Private lenders fund the rest of loans.

Students borrow 13% of their total tuition costs. Parents borrow the other 7%.

The big question is whether it’s all worth it. Check out my next article on College Grads and Unemployment.