Our Thoughts

College Board Releases New College Cost Figures and New FAFSA Timeline

The College Board has released college cost figures for the 2015/2016 academic year in its annual Trends in College Pricing report. Here are the highlights:
Public colleges (in-state students):

Tuition and fees increased an average of 2.9% to $9,410

Room and board increased an average of 3.6% to $10,138

Total average cost* for 2015/2016: $24,061 ($23,410 in 2014/2015)

Public colleges (out-of-state students):

Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.4% to $23,893

Room and board increased an average of 3.6% to $10,138

Total average cost* for 2015/2016: $38,544 ($37,229 in 2014/2015)

Private colleges:

Tuition and fees increased an average of 3.6% to $32,405

Room and board increased an average of 3.2% to $11,516

Total average cost* for 2015/2016: $47,831 ($46,272 in 2014/2015)

*Total average cost includes tuition and fees, room and board, and a sum for books, transportation, and personal expenses.

In other college news, starting with the 2017/2018 academic year, families will be able to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as early as October 1, 2016. The effect of this new timeline is that the parent’s and student’s 2015 federal income tax return will count twice as an income reference point for financial aid eligibility – first for the 2016/2017 academic year under the current FAFSA filing timeline, and again for the 2017/2018 year under the new timeline.

Also, on the student loan front, the federal government has created a new income-driven repayment program called REPAYE, which stands for Revised Pay As You Earn.

 

~ Larry Adams, RFC, CPFA