The Price of a Higher Education

It's no secret that the costs of college are increasing steadily each year. In fact, they are actually rising more rapidly than the prices of other goods and services. This is not a new phenomenon. The best way for families to prepare is to start early and be consistent with their savings and investments.

A few facts from the experts at the College Board, in their Trends in College Pricing report on the cost of a college education today:

  • Average published tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities in 2008-09 are $6,585, $394 (6.4%) higher than in 2007-08. Average total charges, including tuition and fees and room and board, are $14,333, 5.7% higher than a year earlier.
  • Average published tuition and fees at private four-year colleges and universities in 2008-09 are $25,143, $1,398 (5.9%) higher than in 2007-08. Average total charges are $34,132, 5.6% higher than a year earlier.

Wondering about projected costs for 18 years from now?

If you have time on your side, that is great news! You can prepare now for costs down the road. Below is a projection of what costs will be to send a child to a four-year college, with tuition and room and board.

The Rising Cost of Higher Education

Costs based on 2008-2009 estimate of average tuition and room and board in current dollars for four-year public and private universities according to the 2008 Trends in College Pricing, published by the College Board. Projected pricing assumes a 6% annual rate of increase in college costs.

529 plan portfolios may invest in stock and bond investments. Stock investment values fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions. Bond investment values fluctuate in response to the financial condition of individual issuers, general market and economic conditions, and changes in interest rates. In general, when interest rates rise, bond investment values fall and investors may lose principal value. Consult a program description for additional information on these and other risks. However, don't let the rising costs scare you. Our Tools Section can provide you with valuable tips for planning your college investing strategy.

For more information about college costs, please visit the College Board report, Trends in College Pricing.

The Rising Cost of Higher Education (Based on 4 years of school). By 2027, costs at a private university may reach $394,719, and costs at a public university may reach $177,784.

Back to chart.

  • Not FDIC Insured
  • No Bank Guarantee
  • May Lose Value

Wells Fargo Advantage Funds

  • Individual Investors · 1-800-359-3379
  • Investment Professionals · 1-888-877-9275
  • Institutional Sales Professionals · 1-866-765-0778