Setting aside money for college has always been difficult – and, with college tuition jumping 7.9 percent, on average, at the nation's four-year public universities this year, it may be getting even more challenging.
It's not just rapid cost increases that are making it hard to set aside enough to fund a college education. College savers who invest their savings are facing tepid stock returns and a volatile equity market – factors that make investing for college less predictable and less fruitful than it used to be.
People are responding to the stock market's troubles, it seems. The Private College 529 Plan – a savings plan sponsored by private universities and colleges – reports this week that 50 percent of people don't think stocks will provide sufficient returns over the next 10 years to make investing their college savings worthwhile.
And just 13 percent of survey respondents said they would try to beat the steep annual increase in the cost of college by investing in the stock market.
College can be a worthwhile investment: Studies have shown that college grads earn significantly more than people with only a diploma. But figuring out how to pay for college is, as always, a struggle.