If you think you know how much it will cost to send your five-year-old to college in 13 years, well, you probably ought to put $50,000 to $100,000 more in that piggy bank.
A recent study by MassMutual College Planning and Savings estimates that the average cost to send a child to a private 4-year college in 2030 will be $368,739 — more than twice the median home value in Kansas City, according to Zillow.
The announcement drew a gasp from Courtney Stephens-Griggs and her husband Matt Griggs, who delivered their first child at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City at midnight Tuesday.
The two said that while they expect to help their son, Foster, pay his way through college in the next 20 or so years, they haven’t started saving for that day yet.
Matt Griggs, 32, is a nurse. His wife is a commercial insurance broker in Kansas City. He got a full ride to University of Southern California, she and her parents split the cost for her to attend William Jewell College, a private 4-year school in Liberty.
The estimated college cost for 13 years down the road “is a really big bill,” said 34-year-old Stephens-Griggs, who is still paying off her own college loans and with her husband trying to buy a new home. “It’s like triple what it cost us.”
Nationally, the average student loan debt per borrower is nearly $28,000 according to The Student Loan report and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel.
It’s no secret that to pay for your child’s college education, without having them take on a hefty debt, the earlier a parent starts saving the better.
“Parents who start saving at birth or before their child’s first birthday can save an average of about 25 percent more than those who start when the child is in the range of 1 to 10 years old,” the study says.
Even if you start saving on the child’s fifth birthday, it would mean socking away more than $28,000 each year to meet the high cost of a private college education.
The cost would be less, of course, at a public, 4-year college or university. On average it is expected to cost $287,466 to attend an out-of-state college and $163,279 to attend an in-state school, according to the study.
Stephens-Griggs said that when the time comes, she and her husband will have a long talk with Foster, encouraging him to really think about the type of college he will want to attend and the job it will get him when he’s done and how much it will pay.
“College was a priceless venture for me,” Stephens-Griggs said. “I hope to share that experience with my child. But I do think it’s important from him to walk away from college not only with a good education but also with an appreciation for how much it cost to get there.”