There’s no doubt that college is expensive. Tuition and fees for a four-year private college averaged $35,830 in 2018-19; at four-year in-state public colleges, it was $10,230, according to the College Board. And that doesn’t count room and board or other expenses. Few families have the cash to cover it, and that’s where borrowed money often comes in. On average, loans cover 24% of the tab when savings, financial aid and scholarships fall short, according to Sallie Mae’s 11th annual “How America Pays for College” report. As a result, student debt has reached record proportions, with $1.6 trillion in loans outstanding. And that burden is not just shared by students. Increasingly, parents are borrowing to make up the difference. While the annual limit on federal student loans is $5,500 to $7,500 depending on your year in school, parents can take out up to the maximum of the cost of attendance (minus federal student aid or loans offered directly to the student) with so-called parent PLUS loans to offset any remaining amount that is not covered. Today, at least 3.4 million people hold parent PLUS loans, owing nearly $90 billion, according to a November report by the Brookings Institution, a public… Read full this story
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