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Rising college tuition affects parents, children of divorce

Paying for college can be challenging for any family, but it can be particularly difficult for divorced parents who are financially strapped. With tuition skyrocketing across Texas and the nation, children of divorce are feeling the effects.

According to a recent survey conducted by a university, there is a disparity between the amount of college tuition paid by parents who remain married and those who divorce. And the difference is a pretty big one.

Data shows that married parents on average covered 77 percent of their children's college tuition, and contributed about 8 percent of their incomes to do so. Divorced parents were able to contribute 6 percent of their income, covering a total of 42 percent of their children's tuition.

Clearly, it can be a struggle for divorced parents to pay as much in tuition, particularly if they are facing other costs like spousal support and new real estate costs. Unfortunately, their college age children are feeling the crunch too.

A recent article suggests that one option students in this situation may consider is finishing college in three years instead of four. Some universities are offering breaks in tuition for finishing in a shorter span of time.

Even though only 2 percent of students earned a bachelor's degree in just three years back in the 2007-2008 school year, it is likely to become more common as the cost of tuition rises. It's a challenge for students and their families alike.

Source: USA Today, "Cut college tuition by getting 4-yeardegree in 3 years," Mary Beth Marklein, June 22, 2012

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