Cost of Education

By the time parents send kids off to college, they will have already spent an average of $44,400 on education, according to CNN Money. With the skyrocketing costs of both higher education and education in general, many families are left with few options when tuition bills come. Some students are saddled with mountains of debt before they even enter the workforce, and many parents are faced with remortgaging their houses or delaying retirement to get their kids through school. However, more and more people are turning to crowdfunding as an alternative to these extreme options. It allows a community to come together to help out its own and to invest in an educated future generation.

  1. College Tuition

    College Tuition is often the biggest hurdle for families struggling to put kids through college. It has skyrocketed in recent years for both public and private universities, and the class of 2015 actually set a record for the highest average student loan debt—ever. We've broken down the costs for you.

  2. Room and board

    Room and board are often among the most intimidating expenses for college students, coming in at less than or roughly equal to tuition, depending on the school. Many students live in on-campus student housing their first year, and at some schools, students stay in the dorms for all four years. While this is often more expensive than off-campus housing, at least students know what to expect. Living expenses vary widely based on the housing market in a geographical area.

    • The average cost of room and board is $8,887 at a public university's campus dorms and $10,089 at a private university's, reports My College Guide.
    • The Department of Numbers reports that the average rent in the U.S. is $905 per month, but that figure isn't representative of what a collegiate can expect to pay for off-campus housing. Rent varies widely by location and individual apartment or house available.
    • Paying for your own groceries, like rent, varies widely by geographic area and lifestyle, but will likely cost at least $150 per month.Lorem Ipsum Dolor
  3. Studying Abroad

    Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding opportunities for a college student. Many young people travel extensively for the first time when they go abroad, and the experience of immersing oneself in a new culture can give students a new outlook and help them gain valuable language skills. However, a major concern for many families is the program's price.

    • The cost of studying abroad varies so widely between school-sponsored programs and private ones, as well as by geographic location, that an easy number is hard to find. According to the Institute of International Education, the average cost of studying abroad from 2013-2014 was $17,875, but students could wind up spending much more or less than that depending on the program and country they choose.
    • Be sure to factor in the cost of taking weekend trips or traveling after your program ends. These estimates will also depend on the exchange rate and cost of living.
    • Make sure to budget the costs of airfare and various bus, taxi, and train expenses. Look for shuttles or special student deals that pick you up at the airport.
  4. Finally, the Silent Killer: Textbooks

    Textbook companies often charge exorbitant sums because they know that most students have no choice but to buy the books their professors assign. That being said, savvy shoppers can find exceptions in some cases. Looking online, renting, or scouring used book stores can save you a lot of money, but it's still a good idea to set aside a generous budget just in case.

    • The College Board estimates that the average cost of textbooks sets an undergraduate back an astounding $1,200 per year.
    • Laptop Magazine determined that the average cost of a PC laptop is $484, but students majoring in subjects such as film or graphic design may need a more sophisticated (and pricey!) machine.
    • Make sure to leave room in your budget for general school supplies as well as miscellaneous costs that arise throughout the semester. Whether you need to purchase lab equipment, art supplies, transportation to special exhibits, or pay for printing, remember that academic expenses aren't always limited to books.

Crowdfunding Your Education

While some of these numbers are panic-inducing, remember that there are many ways to ease the financial burden of college. From scholarships to work study opportunities to crowdfunding campaigns, higher education shouldn't bankrupt your family. If you need help paying for college, launch a free fundraising campaign today.