What’s the real cost of tuition?

A college degree isn’t getting any cheaper. And neither is the price of food, medical expenses or just about anything else. The price of tuition is actually increasing four times faster than the consumer price index. Yikes.

If you or your kid are thinking about what’s next in life and feel college might be an option, it’s more important than ever to think critically about what career you want and the smartest way to get it.

The debt being created by tuition prices is a nationwide problem dwarfing that of credit card debt. More than 70 percent of students are graduating with an average of $33,000 in student loans, according to Edvisors.

So what’s the real cost of tuition? Depends who you ask.

A college degree has been valued somewhere between $185,000 (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to $1,000,000 (U.S. Census Bureau) over a lifetime. However, those figures were calculated based on the economic conditions of past generations. College graduates today probably won’t enjoy the same return on investment.

Some sources claim a degree may even lose the graduate money over the course of a lifetime. As a result of a student loan debt, many degree holders will spend years attempting to pay off debt rather than save and build equity. Be careful about the debt you take on.

Think hard about the career you want – a degree may not be required. Debt can be kept low by attending community college first and avoiding private schools. Talk with parents, friends or trusted adults about options to keep debt low. Whether that means a part-time job or working summers, avoiding student loans wherever you can is a safe way to avoid long-term debt.

College enrollment has decreased for the last three years straight. And while this may eventually mean lower tuition, being smart about the debt you take on to get that degree may save a lot down the road.

Tune in and donate. Help us make miracles.

With the help of our friends at Zimmer Radio Group (Clear 99, Y107 FM, 93.9 The Eagle, and 94.3 KAT Country), we are sponsoring the Miracle Network’s 9th Annual Miracles for Kids Radiothon. On March 5 and 6, you can give a miracle to current and future patients (and their families) of the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Columbia.

Each day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Zimmer Radio Group will broadcast live from the hospital to tell the stories of kids and their families who have been patients there. The goal is to raise money for the hospital’s equipment needs and to help alleviate the high costs of treatment these families face. Every cent that’s donated is guaranteed to stay in the area and directly benefit local families who will be featured on the stations.

It’s easy to participate – your donations can be made directly by clicking here or by calling 866.970.GIVE.

Don’t wait to become a miracle-maker. Donate today.