The Cost of College

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These days, many teenagers will choose to go to college to work towards a career they want to pursue. Teenagers are also told to get an education in college, and many studies claim that those who go to college and earn some level of college degree generally make more money than those who don’t go to college and decide to make a living without a degree. However, college tuition is an uncertain topic these days. Many private colleges don’t stress the truth about how much their tuition actually costs.

This can be a problem, because many students will choose to go to a private college. Most students who choose to go to a private college will need to take out multiple loans during their lifetime. Unfortunately, not all students have as much luck finding a job as the next person. When students cannot get a good-paying job after taking out loans, they can fall behind, and the results are unfortunate.

Sometimes, students think they are paying less for college than they actually are. Colleges advertise themselves in a way that would prompt students to go there, because after all colleges are businesses. They do not talk about how much students will actually have to pay for their tuition. Colleges only tell students about everything that will be paid for them, and not what they have to pay for themselves.
Also, because many students realize that they won’t be able to afford a private college, they resort to CUNYs (City College of New York) and SUNYs (State College of New York), which are colleges in New York that don’t require a lot of tuition or loans.
“I’ll probably attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice,” Karla Garcia, a senior at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts stated, “The tuition for John Jay is $6,330 a year. The financial aid granted to me will cover all of the tuition, so I possibly won’t be paying any loans in the future.” John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a CUNY school.

Not all students will go to a CUNY or SUNY school, however. Many students find different ways to pay for their tuition at a private college through Federal Financial Aid, money and loans provided by the government. Money students get for college that they don’t have to pay back are called grants. There are also two types of loans students can get, called subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are loans where students borrow money, and the government pays the interest of the loans for the student while they are in college. Unsubsidized loans are loans students take out, and they have to pay for all the interest of that loan. When students take out unsubsidized loans, they have to pay back the interest that builds up when they are in school. “I hear that FAFSA (Federal Financial Aid) is helpful and so is TAP (Tuition Assistance Program).”
Khristine Rojas, another senior at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts said, “I signed up for scholarships, then I received some money from my college. Plus, my dad’s boss is volunteering to pay for some of it.” Khristine has her college tuition all figured out. Do you?

Is there anything that colleges hide from students when advertising their schools? The answer is probably yes, even though we are not sure what colleges could really hide. Besides the tuition of college being higher than what many expect, there isn’t much else I could think of that colleges would hide.

“I think tuition is really high, but it’s blatantly obvious that when your education is crappy, the college spends your money on the school and teachers, not the quality of your education,” says art major Lisa Moore. “The thing is, the price of college and what the money is used for are unknown. What they are not telling you is what your tuition is used on inside the school.”

Any high school senior who has done a decent amount of research for their colleges could agree. There are also those who say that schools spend the money on luxurious accesses, such as nice dorms, hangout places, and the college campus itself.

It is very important to visit the colleges you are considering. Many students go to college open houses and accept students day to see if the environment of the school is right for them.

“It is important to visit college campuses because it is good to get familiar with the area.” says Johnny Lin, an alumni of Stony Brook University. College campuses and locations factor greatly into whether or not a student will choose to go to the college. Students want to choose a college with a setup and location that fits their life. Also, when students go to open houses, they can find out more about the programs that the college offers.

“I was in awe of all the buildings. I was also impressed by the size of the lecture halls, the number of students, and the amount of courses the college offered. That’s when I decided Stony Brook was the college for me.” Lin reminisces.

Colleges always glorify what they have to get students to go there. Cheap education, beautiful campus, efficient dorming, and much more. However, it is up to the students to investigate further with the colleges that they are considering. Sometimes, colleges over-estimate themselves to students who are on the market.

Even if colleges make themselves seem like the best choice of college, students need to really look into what they are paying for. The biggest obstacle between a student and their dream school in most cases, is the tuition of the school, and students need to try and look for ways to pay for the college if they want to go there.

– by Hui Ting Luan 16

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