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Determining the Real Cost of College

Determine the Real Cost of College
College costs are rising rapidly, and figuring out how to pay for those expenses can be tricky. It’s not too difficult to figure out how much tuition and fees will cost, but there are many other expenses that come along with getting a college education. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to determine the "real" cost of college.

Average Costs
According to "Trends in College Pricing" from the College Board, for the 2005-2006 school year, the average cost for a four-year private school was $31,916. For a four-year public school, the average cost was $15,566. And those costs are going up at an average rate of around 8 percent per year. The good news is that despite those increasing costs, nearly $130 billion in financial aid is available. You just have to know how to get it.

Is It Worth It?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree can earn 62 percent more on average than people with only a high school diploma. That adds up to more than $1 million over your lifetime.

What does that mean?

It means that the thousands of dollars you spend for your education today will yield millions in benefits over your lifetime career.

How Much Does College Really Cost?
Your total bill for a higher education will add up to a lot more than tuition and fees for four years. Here are some other things you’ll need to take into consideration:

–Inflation: The cost of college today is not the same as the cost of college tomorrow. According to the College Board, the price for a higher education increases by an average of 8 percent every year. Keep that in mind when you calculate your real cost for attending college.
–The Five-Year Plan: You’d like to finish your degree in four years, but it might not be possible for you. To earn a degree in four years, you’ll need to take on a full course load, which becomes more and more difficult as you advance into higher-level courses. Another alternative is attending during the summer, but that will increase your cost as well. Most likely, you should estimate your costs as if you’ll be attending for five years. If you end up graduating in four, consider it a bonus!
–Interest: If you are relying on borrowed money to get yourself through school, then you should consider the interest as a part of your college cost. How much will you pay in interest over the life of your loan? Figuring that number out can be a powerful impetus to start building your savings now.
–Books and Supplies: You’ll end up dropping a hefty chunk of change on school books and supplies to get your degree. Don’t forget to take these kinds of costs into consideration when calculating your real college costs.
–Room and Board: You’ll need somewhere to live and something to eat while you’re in school. Room and board costs can add up to a large percentage of your total cost for attending college.

Online Calculators
Plenty of calculators are available online to help you determine a realistic figure for attending college. These take into account many of the above considerations. Use them to help you plan for your own future.

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Online Education in Seattle

Forget about the rain and let’s go to the Emerald City! Seattle has world renowned restaurants, amazing theaters and museums, and is home to future-trending corporations like Amazon, Micro­soft, and Starbucks. Because of these top companies, the recession arrived late and with few damages in Seattle; thus unemployment is not a dire problem in this city… meaning jobs are available for you!!

In addition to being the home of grunge and coffee, Seattle, according to the United States Census Bureau, has the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. cities. The city was listed as the most literate of the country’s sixty-nine largest cities in 2005 and 2006 and second most literate in 2007, and tied for most literate again in 2008. Let’s just say it might not be bright and sunny in Seattle, but the people sure are. Universities and colleges such as the University of Washington, the nation’s most respected public research universities, City University, and Antioch University offer online programs, so you too can contribute, where ever you are, to the high percentage of graduates in Seattle. Check out the above list of universities and start thinking about pursuing an online degree in Seattle!! And don’t forget to thank Seattle and Starbucks for keeping you awake, when you are studying for your online courses.

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What is the Average Age of an Online Student?

The beauty about online education is you can be almost any age and receive a degree or certification! According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average age of a college student is 25 years of age and older; but the University of Phoenix’s, a top accredited online university, average student’s age is between 35-37 years of age.

Thanks to the internet, you can decide that your 50th birthday present to yourself will be the gift of education. That gift can be the choice to return to school to pursue a degree in interior design. The flexibility and convenience of online education makes getting your degree so much easier. You can do your school work on your own schedule. You can learn a trade more quickly than you can in a traditional school setting. Online degrees are less disruptive for you, your life and family.

Even with all these incredibly benefits, why is the average age of an online student still much older? One reason can be the cost of education. As the years go by, the tuition for higher educational institutes increases. As a result, many students decide to go into the workforce in the beginning so they can finance their college education. Work first and study later!

Another reason is the growth in medicine/ healthcare research which can translate into longer life expectancies. Because people are living longer they are working longer and retiring later. Since the average person spends more time in the workforce, they have to purse continual educational programs to stay inform and up to date in their chosen field of work.

Also with the decline in the economy and the rise in unemployment, many people are taking refuge in the classroom. The Workforce Investment Act, a government-funded program with the goal of providing adults with the money needed for the education, skills, and training they need to get and retain jobs, is being utilized more than ever before.

So no matter what age you are or where you are in your life, consider taking an online course. It is very too late to teach an old dog tricks!

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