From school visits to applications, applying to colleges can be overwhelming. Perhaps the biggest issue? The cost of college and student debt. The tuition and fees for an average in-state four-year college costs approximately $9,410 a year. In-state four-year private colleges average about $32,410 per year. The prices are even higher for out-of-state colleges.
According to NBC News, student debt has risen in recent years and is now at $1.6 trillion nationwide. Tyler Colyer, a Jeffersonville High School counselor, says that many worry about the cost of college. “The cost of college is a huge concern for many students and families,” Colyer said. “Parents and students worry not only about the cost but also how they will afford it now or in the future if student loans are necessary.”
According to a report from CNBC.com, 84-percent of students that borrowed loans said that debt has affected their ability to save for retirement. Many people don’t pay off their loans until their 40s.
Kyle Sanders, former editor-in-chief of The Hyphen and a sophomore at Indiana University Southeast, said that he is concerned about money and that it even influenced his decision about the university he attends. “I decided to attend a local college to save money and am constantly thinking about how the debt I have will affect me years from now,” Sanders said.
Colyer advises students to start early when it comes to paying for college. “Get good grades and work on your standardized test scores because that means money,” he said. Colyer pointed out that scholarships are also essential. “Don’t write off applying for a scholarship because it’s only a few hundred dollars. Every penny counts!”