Solutions for the rising cost of college tuition

By: Christine Nicholson Email
By: Christine Nicholson Email

TEXOMA -- As college costs approach the $40,000 a year mark and total student debt reach the one-trillion dollar mark, parents may have to work with their college students to help pay tuition. For this Mom's Everyday Money segment, we look at ways students may be able to rely less on their parents and more on themselves.

With increasing tuition, climbing student loan interest rates and accumulating debt, some parents are less likely to foot the college bill.

Liz McCraw, Enrollment Management Dean of Southeaster Oklahoma State University said, "What we're seeing and what's been identified by our financial aid office is that parents are contributing less and less to their student's payment which means that burdens on the student."

Tuition at the average public university increased eight percent in the last year and is expected to grow. While the national average of yearly tuition for a private colleges is about $30,000 to $40,000 a year, there's still some private college student with the financial support of parents.

"Well, I got a credit card and I don't have a job right now. I just got here so my parents will just send me some money," said Ziu Zishuo, Freshman at Austin College in Sherman. "I just got my American Bank of Texas. They got a debit card and they mailed it to me."

American Bank of Texas Customer Service Supervisor Shalyn Hernandez says a credit card for your college student may be a great tool of convenience along with online banking.

"It's wonderful because they can use it anywhere," Hernandez said about debit cards. "Our's is Mastercard logo so they can...have access to that account 24/7."

But what about after college? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts median income for college grads at $1,152 a week, almost double the income of someone with just a high school diploma. To help prevent the burden of the impending $40,000 to $50,000 of debt, American Bank of Texas' Denison Branch Manager Robert Crowley says starting a savings account now is the way to go.

"We can help you come up with a plan to maybe raise your savings amount that you put back each month and we'd be happy to help you look at your financial picture and see if we can provide some information for you," said Crowley. "The best thing to do is just to make monthly contributions or weekly contributions and begin a savings plan early because college is certainly expensive."

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*Air date 9-11-12

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