College: The expense to keep

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By Christina Cuevas

The financial path (Joshua Pedroza)

By Christina Cuevas

The affordability of college in the United States is deteriorating.

Students enrolled in universities, state and city colleges are being lost in the whirlwind of today’s economical setbacks.

They are forced to absorb the unfortunate reality that the recession is putting an indeterminable hold on their education.

Cars and houses aren’t the only investments taking a huge sink in this economy, the same goes for college savings accounts.

According to the 2008 National Report Card, a study done by The National Center for Public and Higher Education, the burden of paying for college has increased in all families, but more so in middle- and low-income families.

In comparison, low-income families receive lower grants from colleges and universities.

The study also showed that student-borrowing has more than doubled over the past decade.

The day has come that college tuition has increased nearly three times the cost of living and a growing number of students and parents are unable to afford tuitions to private and large universities, despite the help of scholarships and grants.

“Many say they will wait as long as possible this spring before mailing deposits for the next academic school year,” said Jon Nordheimer of NY Times.

A lot of the persistent disparities amount to more and more students enrolling in city colleges.

There is an influx of freshmen resorting to city colleges straight from high school.

These students are coming to city colleges for a variety of reasons.

Reasons such as the fact that they are supporting themselves, a parent has lost a job or the family is supporting several college students at once.

These situations are all too common.

Chances are that almost every classroom at Riverside City College has one or more students who either currently attend a UC or Cal State, or could not attend because of the cost of tuition, books and parking permits.

This makes many things on campus more hectic.

Parking is no doubt harder to find when students are pressed for time before class.

Not to mention the line to consult a counselor, buy books or to pay fees.

Some have already felt the difficulty of registering due to the influx of new students to the school.

This is true especially for classes of common requirement.

Classes like the standard math, science and english courses were difficult to get into this semester.

Of course higher education tops the list of importance for every typical American family, granted, families do plan ahead, but life takes its unpredictable turns throughout the year.

However deterring circumstances may be, there are a few ideas families and students should keep in mind.

The first criteria one should follow whether applying for transfers or financial aid, is that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For those whom are ready to transfer, the odds of getting into just one “dream school” might be looking too farfetched.

It would be of best interest to research and apply to at least a couple of affordable schools.

Consider a couple of more generous ones of excellence that cater to your major.

Students should also consider spending a few extra hours studying here and there to bring their grade point average up.

A couple of points could quite possibly pay off a bit, helping in the long run in terms of scholarships and grants.

Overall, the better the student, the more options they will have.

Last but not least, go farther than the financial aid office to score additional financial resources.

Professors, co-workers and anyone to some higher degree you may know could offer great advice on educational planning and financial saving.

Especially now, the United States needs more college educated people to fulfill skill requirements for new and existing jobs.

Let’s not allow financial setbacks to put a dent in anyone’s educational dreams.

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