For many American parents, affording a four year college tuition for their children means saving money from the day they are born. Fees keep escalating each year making it more and more difficult for the average American to reach this goal.
There are, however, numerous options available for both parents and students to help them fulfill their dreams of higher education. While parents loan money from banks, many students have part time jobs to help contribute. In addition there are many federal, state and local institutions which offer scholarship money and financial aid.
But what does it cost to attend a college or university? This is a difficult question to answer as prices vary from one school to another. Average total charges are $25,000 per year, including tuition, fees and room and board. Room and board refers to the housing of a student. Many students choose to live on campus in a dormitory for their first years.
How can you afford this? The numbers may sound frightening at first, but there are several ways to bring these costs down. States have their own colleges and universities which offer much lower costs to their own residents. As an in-state student you can save around $10,000. As many as 80% of college bound students choose this option. Yet, as tempting as this sounds, some students choose out of state schools for reasons as simple as wanting to"spread their wings" and experience a totally new environment. Junior colleges, which offer a two year associate's degree, are often less expensive too. And choosing a public institution versus a private one will also help to trim your budget.
Financial Aid, Educational Loans and Scholarships
Other ways to reduce costs are applying for financial aid, educational loans or scholarships. Financial aid is a program set up by the government to help lower income families while educational loans are borrowed from lending institutions. Scholarships are given as awards and are abundant. There are literally hundreds of thousands of them from sports scholarships to community service. The more scholarships you apply for the better your chances. Every penny helps! Another option is joining the Armed Services where college education is often free, paid for by the government.
Regardless of your choice of school, in-state, out-of-state, private or public, in the end it is all worth it. Whatever sacrifices you make for your college education they are short term in comparison to the thousands of doors that will have been opened.
- Why is it difficult for many families to send their sons and daughters to college?
- Which alternatives are there to the expensive out-of-state schools?
- What can students do to help finance their college education?
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