College Expenses On The Rise

Esther Choi, Writer

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The outrageously high cost of going to college deflects students from wanting to pursue higher education. According to Scholarships.com, one of the top reasons why students do not go to college right after high school is because they cannot afford it. The average student attending a public college pays around $22,000(4.6% more than last year) with about $4500 covered by grants, scholarships and aid, and the average student attending a private college pays around $44,000(5.6% more than last year) with $15,500 covered by grants scholarship, and aid. However, with millions of scholarships, support from loved ones and student loans, attending college might be easier than people imagine.

Many students at Olympia High School have found great ways to pay for college and lessen the cost. Some students plan to attend South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) or other community colleges before and then transfer to a university, and some have jobs. The most important and easiest way to receive money to attend college is through student loans and scholarships.

There are millions of scholarships that are waiting to give students money. Sports, ethnic backgrounds, family history, and merit scholarships, all are options for qualified students. Although the nation-wide scholarships are much harder to win, OHS has a scholarship committee to gives students money and scholarships. Also, there are two types of loans: federal, such as FAFSA, and private loans, borrowing from agencies that require credit requirements, interest rates and due dates. With private loans, individual banking companies and student loan offices differ in interest rates; usually, banks have higher rates than other agencies. Negotiating with many different interest companies will be the best and easiest way to pay for college.

Seniors, Melina Tran, Julia Hernandez and Laura Smit all plan to apply to many different scholarships and take out loans. Tran says, “My mom always said to apply for scholarships so she doesn’t have to pay for it and to keep a high G.P.A.” Tran plans to pay for college herself and does not want to ask her parents for money. She wishes to get a loan and pay it off slowly after college. According to Smit, her sister “got scholarships through the college and (her) parents are paying for the rest. My sister will pay them back later”.

Scholarships are given to students for no extra cost. The nation-wide scholarships that are offered by many different private and public corporations are very competitive because of millions of students that apply for same scholarships. Scholarships that are restricted to specific students, such as scholarships for just Washington residents (found at thewashboard.org) are less competitive and give Washington residents a better chance at winning. Merit scholarships (3.7 G.P.A and above), “A G.P.A Isn’t Everything Scholarships”, Coca-Cola, Ronald Reagan, ROTC scholarships are just a few that are more than willing to help students pay for college. Scholarships take time to complete, many of them requiring transcripts, recommendation letters, G.P.A requirements and an essay.  Some great websites are scholarships.com, fastweb.com, collegeprowler.com, thewashboard.org, and even at the OHS website! Don’t shy away from free money!

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