FINANCIAL FOCUS: Start saving today for tomorrow’s college bills

Joe Faulk

Joe Faulk

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 at 06:50 PM.

Another school year is drawing to a close. If you have young children, you might be planning their summer activities.

But you might want to look even farther into the future — to the day when your kids say goodbye to local schools and hello to college dormitories.

When that day arrives, will you be financially prepared?

For the 2013–2014 academic year, the average cost — tuition, fees, room and board — was $18,391 for an in-state student at a four-year public college or university, and $40,917 for a private school, according to the College Board.

These costs may be considerably higher when your children enter college.

Of course, these are just the “sticker” prices; some families pay less, thanks to grants and tax benefits, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

College is still a good investment in your child’s future. Over an adult’s working life, an individual with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn, on average, nearly $1 million more than someone with just a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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