This is true, but it comes at a heavy cost. A cost that keeps rising as time goes on. The cost to attend university/college has increased by 169% between 1980 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labour Statistics and National Centre for Education.
In 1980, the price to attend a four-year college full-time was just over US$10,000 annually, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics. This cost was adjusted for inflation and included tuition, fees, room and board.
For the 2020-2021 school year, the average cost of a year of out-of-state student tuition and required fees at a 4-year public university/college was over $23,000 and $38,000 for a private (US News). Of course, the specific cost varies depending on the course of study and the institution of choice. But the cost of higher education remains a massive financial challenge for many families across the world. In the 2022/2023 academic year, a college education in the Sciences cost US$5000 per annum, while a degree in Engineering or Law is up to US$10,000 per annum at the University of the West Indies (UWI). A degree from the Faculty of Humanities & Education or Gender & Development Studies will cost over US$2,000 each year. These costs are just for admission without accounting for the additional cost of books, meals, and residence. This is the reality that parents and students are facing. And to make matters worse, these numbers are predicted to increase over time.
It Will Get Worse…but There’s a Solution
By the year 2031, four years of post-secondary education could cost as much as US$230,969 and $414,786 by the year 2043. UWI Mona increased its tuition fees by 5% for the 2022/2023 academic year despite the institution insisting that it has done everything in its power to keep tuition fees low. No wonder there’s so much stress and anxiety surrounding the affordability of post-secondary education. And that’s understandable. As a caring parent, you want the best for your child. You know how important a post-secondary education is for future success. You know a university or college education may be the most important advantage you ever give your child. But you may not know that you can better afford tomorrow’s university/college costs if you start saving today.
There’s nothing you can do about the rising costs of higher education, and it’s frustrating. But you can eliminate a lot of the future stresses and make your child’s post-secondary education more affordable by starting an Education Savings Plan now. The earlier you start saving, the less you’ll eventually spend, and the more you can save over time.
Heritage Education Funds International Inc. is one of the largest distributors of Education Savings Plans in the Caribbean. The Fund offers the Caribbean’s first and largest USD Education Plan (Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan). The Fund has been helping families save for their children’s tertiary education in a safe and affordable way for almost 40 years.