Paying for college not as easy as it seems

Obama kicked off his re-election campaign April 24 at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he spoke about college tuition prices and the effects of dept immediately after graduation.

His comments brought up an interesting question. How are students, specifically within the Leesville community, planning on paying for college?

Now I know many students, especially where we live, are blessed enough to not have that question becoming the deciding factor of whether or not they will attend college. I, for one, have known since elementary school that I am definitely going to university, and if it is public and not outrageously priced, my parents will cover the cost for it. If I qualify for any scholarships I will by all means take the money, but I do not necessarily need it. I am willing to bet most students at Leesville fit under this category.

There are, however, those students who are not under the same circumstances. In fact, 65.6% of all undergraduate students in the nation had some sort of financial aid for the 2007-2008 school year.

Jasmine Hitchcock, senior, is facing the stress of paying for college. She knew from freshman year that her parents (both of whom went to UNC Chapel Hill on scholarships) would not help her pay for college.

“Knowing that from the beginning was huge motivation to keep my grades up,” said Hitchcock.

But now she is struggling coming up for the money to attend NC State in the fall.

“I have $10 000 from scholarships and grants already. I have to work to raise the rest,” she said.

NCSU’s total cost for the upcoming year is about $16554, which means Hitchcock has to raise $6554 by herself.

“I am working, and it means a lot of long hours. It’s stressful,” added Hitchcock.

If she can’t raise the money, Hitchcock will have to resort to student loans, which she is reluctant to do.

Tyler Glass is facing a similar problem. He was accepted into Georgia Tech and Duke University, and would love to attend Duke in the fall– but the $56000 price tag is causing a problem.

“There is definitely tension in my household lately, especially with the decision date (May 1) looming nearer and nearer,” commented Glass.

Glass has applied for various scholarships, both local and national, and if he ends up choosing Duke, he will do a work study program. But that doesn’t come close to making up the difference between Duke and Georgia Tech.

“I know Georgia Tech is an awesome school too, but the fact is, I like Duke better,” said Glass.

Glass will also probably end up taking out loans, but is incredibly reluctant to do so.

“I know I want to go to graduate school, so I’ll be in debt even before that,” concluded Glass.

Even our valedictorian for this year changed has university plans due to cost.

Larry Han was a long time Duke fan and was ecstatic when he got accepted. But then Han was awarded the Morehead Scholarship– a full ride to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is now planning to attending UNC in the fall.

Planning on paying for college can place stress and strain on the family, but at least students understand the importance of an education, no matter the cost.

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