The average cost of college for a “four year public college comes in at just under $14,000. The average annual tuition for a two-year public school is $7,000″ (Huffington Post).
Years ago, students could work part-time while in college and full-time during the summers and cover the cost of their college tuition and graduate debt free. Not so today. If your child works a part-time job for 15 hours a week during the school year for 32 weeks at $8 an hour, she’ll earn $3,840. Add in working full-time for 14 weeks during the summer, and she has an extra $4,480, giving her a grand total BEFORE taxes of $8,320.
Clearly, your college student generally can’t make enough to cover a year’s worth of tuition and living expenses.
However, together, you may be able to make a difference.
How Your Grand Per Month Can Help
If you already work full-time and need your pay for monthly expenses, you may think that student loans are inevitable for your child. Not so fast. There are plenty of ideas on this site that can help you make a grand per month by working just 10 to 15 hours a week on the side.
If you’re making $12,000 a year on the side before taxes and your child is making $8,320, you’re now almost there. You have enough to cover tuition at a public four year college, and you may have a bit left over for living expenses.
Even if your child does have to take out loans, she should only need a small amount, perhaps no more than $10,000. This is far more manageable than the average student loan debt of $27,000 for the graduating class of 2012 (CNN Money).
If your child decides to attend a community college first, the money will stretch even farther, especially if she lives at home. Then she may be able to graduate completely debt free.
Increase Your Child’s Per Hour Pay
Many college students are stuck in menial jobs such as working at fast food restaurants or working on campus in work study positions. If your side job takes off and you need additional help, your child could assist, especially if your work is web based. She’d have flexible hours, learn how to manage a business, and perhaps earn more than she could with a job on campus.
Start as Soon as You Can
Of course, with the plan of working a side job to help your child pay for her education, you could start as late as when your child first goes to college. However, if you could start your side business earlier, say when she enters high school, you’d have time to save and invest the money (and more time to generate the money), making it easier to help pay for your child’s education in full.
You may think a college education is out of reach for your child unless she goes deep in debt, but that’s not always the case. If you’re willing to work a few extra hours a week on the side, you can make a significant difference in the amount of debt your child must assume.
This is from Melissa who blogs at Mom’s Plans.