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Obtaining a college degree is a desirable, but expensive goal. Luckily, new assistance tools can help students uncover new ways to afford an education amid rising tuition costs.
If you’re a recent college graduate or are in the midst of a college search, you might worry how you’re going to pay off school debt or afford rising tuition costs. There are several justifiable causes for your fears.
First, skim the major headlines, and you’ll see that unemployment rates still hover around nine percent, meaning there’s more competition for the few jobs that are available. And, while a college degree makes you more desirable to employers, finding a job can still be difficult.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that a hard-earned degree costs a lot of hard-earned cash. The average student loan debt for a college education tops $25,250, according to the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt. This leads some to question the merits of a college education, as reported in a CNN Money article.
But despite the high cost, the value of a college education remains clear to many. In fact, a Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce study confirms that the value of a college degree is increasing. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree now make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma, up from 75 percent in 1999.
Despite the ultimate payout of a college education, one fact remains clear: it still costs a lot of money to earn a diploma. (If you want to read the data, see the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center’sTrends in College Pricing 2011 and Trends in Student Aid 2011.) So what’s a family to do?
President Obama Launches Aid Plan
It’s precisely these concerns that prompted President Obama to announce a plan to make college more affordable and ease the burden of loan repayment. Here is a summary of that plan:
There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting a school, and now there are a growing number of options to help students and families afford an education.
Parents and high school students dream of the first day of college. Don't let the cost of a higher education dampen your spirits. Help may be available to you in the form of financial aid.
You might legally be able to buy shots at the local bar, but you still need your parents' information when filling out the FAFSA application. The U.S. Department of Education considers a student a dependent until the age of 24, except in certain circumstances. This is important because your dependency status can affects how your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is calculated on the FAFSA application.
A 2008 national survey of college therapists conducted by the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) showed that the number of students seeking mental help has significantly increased in recent years. In fact, 95% of the college therapists surveyed said more students were coming to them with serious psychological problems. Nearly one in every ten students is now utilizing campus therapists to deal with mental and emotional problems.
The Pell Grant is one of the many financial aid options provided by the federal government, and it's possibly the best known grant out there. The Pell Grant program was begun by the Department of Education way back in 1972, making it the granddaddy of federal grants.
Well, the news is in, and tuition prices are up. The most recent report out of the College Board announced that the average tuition at four-year public colleges in the U.S. rose $429 to $7,020, a 6.5% increase of last year’s numbers. Private colleges experienced a similar incline, as tuitions across the country rose 4.4% to $26,273. Including room and board, the price tag associated with public schools jumps to $15,213. Private schools face an average cost of $35,636 when you factor in the costs associated with college life outside of the classroom.
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