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Gerber Life College Plan

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The Importance of Establishing a College Plan

Even in times of economic uncertainty, one thing remains constant — the importance of higher education. Paying for college, however, has become more and more burdensome. Students graduating in 2013 had an average of $35,200 in college-related debt, according to Fidelity Investment's Cost Conscious College Graduates Study. That's a heavy load to carry into the future. Numerous reports show that graduates saddled with debt are putting off major life milestones such as getting married or starting a family.

With the cost of college rising every year, it's more important than ever to start a college plan when your children are young.

  • If you worry about your ability to help your kids pay for college, you're not alone. The Wall Street Journal reports that 79% of families worry about their ability to pay for college.1 Parents who start saving early in their child's life have the best chance of helping him or her to pay for a college education. Why? Because doing so will, over time, put you and your child in a better position to pay for college when the time comes than if you had saved nothing at all. Instead of worrying about how much or how little you're able to put aside, focus on saving diligently. Every penny counts.

  • According to a 2014 report from the College Board, the average cost of tuition plus room and board tops $18,391 a year2 for public, four-year, in-state colleges and universities. The time to start saving for college is now and the earlier you start, the easier it is. A simple way to save is through the Gerber Life College Plan.

    Average estimated undergraduate costs for the 2013-2014 academic year, including tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, transportation and other expenses, according to The College Board's "Trends in College Pricing 2013":

    Type of School 2013-2014 annual college expenses Annual % increase in college costs
    Public 2-year
    Commuter College
    $3,264 3.5%
    Public 4-year
    In-State On-Campus
    $18,391 3.2%
    Public 4-year
    Out-of-State On-Campus
    $31,701 3.2%
    Private 4-year
    On-Campus
    $40,917 3.7%

    Estimates of college costs in the future: Using data from the College Board and its website (www.collegeboard.com), and assuming that college expenses increase by 5% annually, the anticipated cost of attending an in-state public college or university for four years beginning in 2026 is $148,000. For private institutions, the anticipated cost is around $353,000. Costs for your child may vary depending on a number of factors, including geographic location and whether your child attends college full-time or part-time, and lives at home or on campus.

    Learn more about saving for college with the Gerber Life College Plan, or get started today.

1 According to The Wall Street Journal article on 8/15/2013

2 In-state tuition for public, four-year colleges and universities. Out-of-state costs for public colleges and universities, as well as costs for private colleges, are significantly higher.