Customers affected by Hurricane Matthew: learn more about submitting a claim online or call 866-COUNTRY when it’s safe to do so. We’re here for you. 

posted in: Education Funding

Paying for College

You and your children's earning potential can dramatically increase with your level of education. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a Bachelor's Degree earns an average of $20,000 a year more than a high school graduate.1

That's one reason saving for college is important, but there are other potential benefits to consider as well:

  • More career opportunities
  • Greater chances for advancement
  • Improved employee benefits
The costs

The average annual cost of tuition, room, and board for the 2012-2013 school year for public and private college were:2

Type of school Average annual cost Increase over prior year
4-year in-state public university
$17,860 4.2%
4-year non-profit private university
$39,518 4.1%
2-year public college
$3,131* 5.8%

*Tuition and fees only. Sample for inclusion of room and board too small to provide meaningful information.

While inflation only grew at about 2% in 2012,3 it's obvious that college expenses are increasing at a much faster pace than the cost of living.

Paying for College
Financial Aid Personal Savings/Investment

Depending on your family's assets and income, financial aid may be available to help pay for college. The purpose of financial aid is to provide the difference between college costs and what the family can afford.

There are three main types of financial aid:

  • Grants and scholarships
  • Loans
  • Work Programs


According to The College Board, loans account for 38% of all financial aid. Learn more about the types of financial aid available under the Young Adults section of the Money Matters education resources guide on our Tools page.


For a free Expected Family Contribution calculator, visit

If financial aid is a possibility, should you and your child save money for college?


The availability, type, or amount of financial aid is not guaranteed. Loans are a common form of financial aid, and loans almost always have to be repaid by you or the student. So, it makes sense to save for future education expenses.

Learn more:


May lose value

No bank guarantee

Registered broker/dealer offering securities products: COUNTRY® Capital Management Company, 1705 N Towanda Ave, PO Box 2222, Bloomington, IL 61702-2222, 1-866-551-0060. Member FINRA/SIPC

Investment management, retirement, trust and planning services provided by COUNTRY Trust Bank®. Please see our Terms & Conditions for more information about COUNTRY Trust Bank and its affiliates.

COUNTRY Financial® and our representatives cannot give tax advice. Any information we provide reflects our understanding of current tax laws, which are subject to change and reinterpretation. See your tax advisor regarding your personal circumstances.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 23, 2012
2The College Board, Trends in College Pricing, 2012
3Consumer Price Index, 2012

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. There are investment risks associated with investing in municipal fund securities. More information about municipal fund securities is available in the issuer’s official statement. The official statement should be read carefully before investing.