As the parent of a 16-year-old, I'm staring down the barrel of four years of out-of-this-world tuition costs. In-state tuition at a state school such as University of Maryland, College Park, is about $11,000, not including books or room and board. Compared to other options, it's by most accounts a relatively inexpensive college education. For someone like my daughter, who gets great grades and at the moment wants to be an engineer, I could be looking at an out-of-state tuition that could be closer to $35,000 to $60,000 a year. Again this doesn't include books and living expenses.