Trump touts college savings in speech but ignores student debt

Personal Finance

“Those same savings accounts are not covering the full cost of college for most students and their families,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief.

Families with students in four-year private colleges spent almost $47,000 in 2017-18, up 3.5 percent from the year earlier. At in-state, four-year public colleges, it was more than $20,000, according to the College Board.

A college degree is now the second-largest expense an individual is likely to make in a lifetime — right after purchasing a home.

Tuition has historically risen about 3 to 5 percent a year, according to the College Board. During the recession, declining public funds caused tuition to spike. At private four-year schools, average tuition and fees rose 54 percent in the last decade. Tuition plus fees at four-year public schools, which were harder hit, jumped 71 percent over the same time period.

As a result, families are relying on loans and aid more than ever before to make a degree more affordable. Currently, about two-thirds of all full-time students receive some kind of support.

Aid such as the income-based federal Pell grants covered 35 percent of college costs in 2016-17, up from the previous school year, according to a recent report by education lender Sallie Mae. Borrowing covered 27 percent of college costs, also higher than the year before.

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