Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Costs of College

By Eric Gursky
After our final class today I was tempted to write about the costs incurred by going to college. The estimated cost to attend a public four-year college in the academic year 2008-2009 is at least $16,914 for one year, while for a private four-year college the cost more than doubles, like here at Syracuse University. This figure includes tuition, room, and board. A student must also consider the cost of books and personal expenses when figuring college expenses. It is estimated that the figure is over $600 per year. This makes it easy to understand the need for financial aid among many college students.

There are three major types of financial aid. First off are grants and scholarships: This type of aid is generally provided by the federal government or private organizations. Grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back but usually require qualifications in certain areas. The second option is work-study. This is a program where a student in college may earn income and gain work experience at the same time. It is usually provided by the Federal Work Study program. The college financial aid office can assist you in finding a job. Lastly a student can obtain loans. Based on financial need, this type of aid may carry low interest rates and favorable repayment plans. However, every loan will require you to pay interest for as long as the debt exists.

When searching and applying for financial aid, remember to apply every year because you might become eligible even though you were not eligible the previous year. Make a note of all deadlines for financial aid and register early for aid is best. College is expensive, but there are free sources that can help you pay for school if you spend some time and effort looking.

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