College or Work After High School? Cost Considerations for Parents

Before you even become a parent or guardian to children, you’re likely swamped with how to pay for everything they need. Whether that’s medical bills, adoption fees, or child care, taking care of kids is expensive—and so is their college education. But what if your child is thinking of taking a different route after high school?

If your high-schooler wants to put off college by taking a gap year, or they decide college isn’t the right path for them, make sure you both weigh the pros and cons first.

College is expensive, costing students and families in the U.S. an average of $35,720 per student, per year. With student loans and the loss of income, estimates the cost of a bachelor’s degree can cost students more than $400,000 in the end.

Here’s another look at how the average cost of tuition for different types of schools stacks up, according to data analyzed by College Board.

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