Wednesday, February 25, 2009

College Costs Rising

By: Asim Mohammed

The total cost of going to a private 4-year college has risen to $34,132 on average for the 2008-09 academic year, while in-state public school students paid an average of $14,333 for the current school year.

The rise of going to school in today’s economic crisis, credit crunch, etc is rising drastically. With the economy slowing more, students will only see more tuition hikes, mainly in public schools as private schools will not be able to hike their costs because families will be more sensitive to price changes in a down economy. Private institutions may instead be forced to freeze hiring, delay building projects and make other cutbacks. Some families even after adjusting for financial aid the amount they pay for college has skyrocketed 439%.

There is some relief however with new stimulus plans for education. Families that qualify for financial aid, the news is doubly good. Pell Grants, awarded to students with high need, will climb to a maximum of $5,400 per year over the next five years. Also the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans, also offered to families will drop to 3.4% over the next four years. Easing the burden for many families to try and pay for college and to pay back loans.

In the end with all the rising costs of college and the more aid coming in, there's no reason to overpay. Some people say go to a low cost school and save your money for graduate school.

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