The Best College Education Strategy for African American Students
I'm sure I don't have to tell you how ridiculously colleges are these days.
Dozens of colleges, like George Washington University in Washington, D.C., have the audacity to charge more than $58,000 per year for 2021 tuition. Tuition at LaSalle University - in my home town of Philadelphia, Pa - cost $32,425. Oh, that's not including the $16,222 price tag to live on campus - so the true cost to attend LaSalle is more than $48,647 per year. Yikes!
Average Black Household Income
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household income in the U.S. is about $69,272. For African Americans, the average household income is approximately $43,862. So, you'd have spent nearly 80-100+% of a year's income on one year of college.
George Washington and LaSalle University aren't alone. The eight Ivy League schools all charge at least $50,000 for tuition and fees - and that's not including room and board.
The average tuition at private schools as of 2021 was $35,087. Public schools, of course, charge a lot less, especially for state residents – $9,687 versus $21,184 for out of state, according to U.S. News & World Report.
In fact, it looks like costs are only going to increase. According to the American Institute of Economic Research, college tuition costs rose a whopping 1,100% between 1980 and 2015. The worst part is, there doesn't seem to be any reason for the massive price hikes. As long as students and parents are willing to pay, they'll just simply keep increasing their prices.
It's just another example of how greed has permeated our society at the expense of honest, hard-working Americans like you and me.
The Handwriting Is On The Wall
For the past 10 years or so, I saw the handwriting on the wall and found a simple solution to save thousands of dollars off of sky-high tuition prices for my client's children and themselves.
This has nothing to do with financial aid, loans, or scholarships. If you or anyone in your family is going to college, this one strategy alone will save you tens of thousands of dollars. Do you want to know what it is?
I'm talking about community colleges.
Take a look at their costs:
For the 2020-2021 school year, the average cost for a full-year of tuition and fees at a community college is only $4,913 for in-state students. That's less than half what you'd pay at a public, in-state college. Even out-of-state students save, with the average tuition at $8,655.
So, here's the secret way to save 30% or more on college tuition. Start at your local community college and transfer into the bigger college after two years. In other words, hold off attending your university or college of choice for two years while taking courses that transfer from your local community college instead. Save a ton of money, but graduate in the same amount of time and from the more prestigious-named university.
The College Experience Can Cost You
Most kids would rather not choose this option because they want to experience the college lifestyle (living on-campus) and establishing independence. Well, that was fine and dandy several years ago for many but today a "college experience" and developing "independence" could also include many years of funding your college mortgage obligations.
In many aspects, what 18 year old know what they want to be when they grow up? So, does it make sense to spend $30,000 to $50,000 in the freshman year taking general courses to figure out their major and they want to do with their life. Its less expensive to attend a community college for two years instead.
For example, Temple University accepts academic, college-level courses beyond the developmental level completed with a grade C or better.
Tuition and fees for the upcoming 2021 fall session at Temple University for in-state students is $16,970 and $29,882 for out-of-state students.
But at the Community College of Philadelphia, it's just $4,536 for in state students.
So, let's say you live in Philadelphia. You could attend the Community College of Philadelphia for two years and then transfer to Temple University for your third and fourth years.
The two-plus-two strategy would cost only about $43,012 for four years versus $67,880 for four years at the university. You'd save close to $25,000 in tuition and fees over two years. That is a savings of more than 36%.
Other states offer similar programs, where you can transfer credits from community college to another institution. And the savings is even higher for private schools.
Make sure your desired school has a system in place for credits to transfer before enrolling in community college classes. Some schools may have rules about the types of classes they accept.
Would it just be great if your child received a fully-paid academic and/or athletic scholarship? Absolutely, it would! But if you're a parent looking for ways to save for your retirement and want to make certain that your children get a great education, community college may be the answer. You save big money and your kids still get diplomas from a big-name school.