NPR has a show here giving parents tips on how to deal with college costs. I have a tip as well:
With interest rates and housing prices still so low in most area, you might want to consider buying a condo for your child instead of paying the sky-high on-campus housing costs. We did that with our third child and wish we had thought to do it with the first two.
We bought a two bedroom, so we could get some rental income from it. My daughter got to choose who rented that bedroom, so she had control over who her roommate was. And when we discovered a roommate was using drugs, it was easy to evict her.
My daughter kept that condo for almost eight years, as she stayed in her college area. When we sold it, we gave her the profit.
It was such a win/win. We took an FHA loan, and so only put three percent down. Out monthly costs were lower than on-campus housing, we had control over the roommate situation, and we were able to give our daughter a nice savings account when we sold it.