A new study from GoBankingRates says Virginia ranks 15th highest in salary needed to comfortably send a student to a state college.

If you think affording college in Virginia is difficult, you're absolutely right. We rank in the top 15 of states demanding the highest annual income in order to be able to pay for a student's college education at a public institution and still live comfortably within that state.

To put it simply, Virginians need to earn $82,084 per year in order to afford $12,320 in average tuition, $34,882 in necessities, $20,929 in splurges, and $13,953 in savings. These numbers are based on the 50-30-20 budgeting rule (50 percent of income for necessities, 30 percent for extras, and 20 percent for savings). Virginia's higher cost of living is factored in, as well as the average cost of tuition and fees at four-year state colleges, per the College Board.

[caption id="attachment_17168" align="aligncenter" width="650"]college Image courtesy of GoBankingRates.com[/caption]

These numbers would, of course, not factor in the possibility that a family might be sending multiple children to college, or the possibility that students might choose a private college or more expensive school out of state. This study is also assuming that the student would be relying solely on their parents to foot the bill for their education, which is unlikely since a Sallie Mae study in 2016 found that only 29 percent of schooling expenses were paid for by parents, with 34 percent covered by scholarships and grants and another 25 percent covered by student loans or student income and savings.

According to the report by GoBankingRates,

Virginia ranks No. 15 for income needed to pay for college and live comfortably. That’s because the cost of living and in-state tuition are relatively high. Although the state’s median household income of $61,486 is higher than the national median, it’s not enough for residents to live comfortably and send a child to college."

States that landed in the top five included Hawaii (requiring $126,454 per year), California ($106,770), Massachusetts ($96,574), Colorado ($91,700), and Connecticut ($91,140). States requiring the least annual income for education affordability included Indiana at the lowest ($62,091), followed by Arkansas, Ohio, Missouri, and Kentucky.

[caption id="attachment_17166" align="aligncenter" width="454"]college Image courtesy of GoBankingRates.com[/caption]
So what do you think? Are you worried about paying for your kids' college? Would you consider moving to a more affordable state? Let's start a conversation in the comments!

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