Think back to your own college career. Remember the first day and moving in, the classes, professors,
and challenges that shaped your first steps into adulthood. A college education is famous for opening up
the eyes and the minds of those who receive it, helping students and scholars build connections with
their peers, professors, and even employers eager to add fresh blood to organizations and companies
But while a college education can be the key to a better life, unlocking new opportunities, a higher pay
scale, and serving as an important coming-of-age ritual, its benefits aren’t without cost—and growing
costs at that. Aside from four years of lost wages (studying rather than earning straight out of high
school) college tuition rates for students are skyrocketing and American families are spending more than
ever in order to enroll.
According to the new report "How America Pays for College 2015," American families are spending an
average of $24,164 on college tuition for the 2014-15 school year. This amount is an astonishing (and
unsustainable) 16% higher than 2013-2014 and the highest amount since 2010 when the figure hit an
(inflation-adjusted) $26,271. The study was conducted by market research firm Ipsos on behalf of
government student loan provider Sallie Mae / Navient. Sixteen hundred people including 800 parents
and 800 undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 were polled in the month of April in
order to collect data 1.
The upsurge is most likely the result of high-income parents contributing greater amounts towards
college educations following the recent economic upturn. Those with earnings greater than $100,000
annually increased their spending by 25 percent, for an average of $33,260. Low-income families,
meanwhile, still spent an average of $21,036—a significantly greater amount when considered as a
proportion of total income 1.
This economic positivity may also be contributing to a decrease in reliance on loans, both federal and
private. Just 30% of total costs paid came from scholarships in 2015, compared to 33% in 2011.
Additionally, 88% of families polled said they would be more willing to "stretch" their budgets to afford
college for their students, hinting at an increasingly optimistic view that their children will be able to
find a good job after graduation and make a better return on the college investment 1. Fantastic, right?
However, caution should be warranted. Tuition rates show no signs of leveling out and as of 2015 over
1.2 trillion dollars in student loan debt is still owned by Americans, including traditional college students,
nontraditional students who returned to school in order to acquire a degree or other skills, and parents
and grandparents who co-signed loans for their loved ones 2. This debt cannot be discharged with
bankruptcy and failure to repay frequently results in collections activity directed against students
struggling to find good jobs and transition into a working adulthood.
By paying out of pocket, families do protect students from these hostile collection tactics and crushing
interest rates, yet properly saving for rising tuition rates and budgeting around those expenses is a
challenge, and frequently results in delayed retirements and other life goals. This presents an
opportunity for YOU! With Imeriti Financial Network’s (IFN) proven sales strategies, we can show you
how to offer your clients new financial products that may help guide college savings. IFN even offers a
program exclusive to our insurance agents that provides guaranteed Tuition Reward® points to your
clients - all for free! Not sure what Tuition Reward points are3? Contact IFN today at 800.921.3100 for
more information and to learn how we can help you offer more solutions to your clients and help grow