Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

Dealing with Tuition Increases at College

With the economy still struggling to recover and educational institutions losing money, many universities and colleges have sought relief by raising student tuition rates. With the burden falling on the students to pay, many are finding it alomst impossible to deal with the stresses of college life and these higher payments.

The key to paying for college and dealing with higher tuition rates is to start saving and researching early. As a general rule, tuition at American colleges and universities increases an average of 8% each year. Start saving for college in high school or earlier if possible. If that isn’t an option, or it’s already too late for that, there are many alternative to help students afford higher education.

While the universities and colleges have raised their rates, many have also increased their financial aid budgets. Begin searching for financial aid options while you are researching the right college for you, as not all will offer the same benefits. Universities and colleges can offer students grants, scholarships, and even work study programs to help them afford their higher education. Work study programs are awarded to students that demonstrate financial need and allow students to work, usually off-campus, and earn money in a field of their interest, while still attending school. Also, students can research the possibility of applying for teaching assistantships with a professor. This would also allow the student a chance to interact with other students in their field of study, make money and continue to go to school.

Grants and scholarships are also offered by third party organizations, such as non-profit, community and career associations. These are often awarded to high school seniors who are preparing to enter college for the first time, so be sure to research the local and state options available. Another cost effective way to attend college is to consider going to a smaller and less expensive community college for the first two years of school and then to transfer to a larger school of your choice later. Just be sure to check with both universities to ensure that the classes you take and credits you earn will transfer seamlessly.

Besides beginning to save and research financial aid options early, it is important to remember that most universities discourage the use of credit cards and private loans to pay for tuition. The interest rate for both credit cards and personal bank loans is much higher than a federal education loan would be and most don’t require repayment until after you complete your degree. Higher tuition rates don’t have to keep students from earning a degree and getting a quality education. It just takes some research and a little work to discover the right options for every student.

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