Paying for College: Risk Versus Reward

Chart: The Rising Cost of College in the U.S.

The 1200% increase in college tuition over the last four decades, outpacing inflation by nearly 1000%, is Reason Number One parents often anxiously ask me about how their kid can apply for scholarships. As the conversation unfolds, many often also reveal having saved some for their children’s college expenses, though the amount is woefully inadequate, and are now looking for subsidies to defray their costs. 

Many parents also worry about paying for multiple children’s college expenses, for years spanning sometimes up to a decade when siblings overlap their years in college, all the while trying to maintain their current standard of living, which includes but is not limited to saving for retirement, paying for extracurricular and other educational expenses for kids still living at home. 

In such typical middle class dilemmas, parents and students frame their complex choices as an “affordability” issue, but instead, families should begin by first considering the value of a college degree. Investigating why a student wants to attend college, as well as why a student (or their parents or both) seek a degree from a particular college is essential to value one college experience versus others

Also, when students are aware of their aptitude, they can choose colleges where they’ll most likely continue discovering the nuances of their ability defining their life’s purpose, thus confirming the value of a college education. Otherwise, families risk educational malinvestment, then what should be a blessing becomes a burden to be carried long after the seemingly magical experience of attending college is gone.

Graphic courtesy of Govind Bhutada of Visual Capitalist


For more information about how Creative Marbles experts can help students and parents can reduce the risks of malinvestment in college, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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