The cost of college may be greater than you think

Guys playing basketball in page

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament is an epic struggle. The drama unfolding on the courts as teams battle for elimination – including come-from-behind wins and surprise victories by underdogs – help make “March Madness” a fitting title for this annual contest to determine who truly, and unquestionably, is THE number one team.

The tournament may also be an apt and timely reminder about the sticker shock parents and grandparents often experience when sending their young scholars off to college. Because the kids may not be able to do it alone. Take a quick peak at the 2017 tuition bracket to see just what type of financial challenge many families may face. Talk about tuition madness.

Unfortunately, college is not likely to become more affordable any time soon, either. Costs are continuing their steady rise, according to the annual Trends in College Pricing report published by the College Board.

For the 2016/2017 academic year, the total average ANNUAL cost for public colleges (paid by in-state students) increased 2.7% over the previous year to $20,090. The total out of state students paid increased 3.4% to $35,370. And students attending private colleges paid $45,370, up 3.4%.

Furthermore, the Class of 2015 took out loans to help finance the degrees they earned. According to the Institute for College Access and Success about seven in ten students graduated with an average of $30,000 in student debt.

Even though it may seem expensive, a college education is an investment that can both enrich lives and boost lifetime earning potential. Two excellent reasons to help make it a reality for the people you care about. The good news is: it is never too early or late to start planning for their educational needs.

For assistance, please contact your RBC Wealth Management financial advisor. Or use the advisor locator tool to find one near you.

Non-deposit investment products offered through RBC Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by, a bank, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.