Protest or Pay Up: Paying for College

One of the major factors in going to college is money. Tuition prices, living expenses, traveling expenses, cost of books, and fees all go into how much you spend as a college student. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior; these things impact not only your pocket book, but your view of the school.

Protest At DePaul University

A group of students gathered last weekend at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park and later the Loop campus to protest a tuition hike. The hike they’re proposing is 5.5 percent for incoming freshman and 2.5 percent for returning students. Yet a member of the Strategic Resource Allocation Committee, Dr. Kevin Stevens, explained that DePaul is a tuition driven school that uses the money to make it possible for students to attend, reported the DePaulia. DePaul released a statement that the money from the tuition increase will be mostly for institutional financial aid, estimated at $160 million for next year.

Tuition Hike At San Francisco State

But DePaul students aren’t the only ones worries about their college expenses. In fact, a lot of schools are facing even steeper proposals. A NY Times Blog by Tanya Caldwell talks about San Francisco State students who are facing a possible 9.3 percent increase. Many of the students are quoted with the struggles as their tuition changes from year to year. This is of particular interest to those trying to pick a college. Will the tuition rise up suddenly once you attend? If so, will financial aid help contribute to these changes?

How To Evaluate Tuition Costs

In this economy, where even businesses such as colleges are struggling, we all have to be aware of everything that goes into our spending. The College Board has a lot of information about paying for college. I think it’s important to look at the actual cost at each school. The published tuition and fees don’t match what you’ll have to pay, mostly due to grants and financial aid.

In addition, you need to consider that tuition and fees doesn’t include housing, meal plans, laundry, entertainment or books and school supplies. These things have to be factored in on top of tuition, but then you have to consider which schools will offer you certain scholarships and types of aid. In 2010-2011 an average full-time undergraduate student was awarded around $12,455 in aid, according to The College Board.

Don’t Run From The Price Tag

There are a lot of factors involved in what it costs to go to college. So don’t just look at the price on a college website and run from it. Instead you need to see what other aspects of the institution you’re interested in. If it seems like a fit, then see what kind of financial aid they offer, how much it would cost for housing and meal plans, and see what it is comparably.

DePaul seems like an expensive private college, but it offers plenty of scholarships and financial aid to students who need it. It isn’t just publicity when they say a majority of their tuition goes to scholarships and helping students go to college. It’s something that has helped me attend a University I’m proud to be a part of and study what I love.

If you’re having problems deciding, I always recommend making a spreadsheet. This way you can compare each of the colleges you’re looking at in these different cost aspects and can organize and tame the beast that is paying for higher education.

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Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich is a senior creative writing major at DePaul University. She is minoring in journalism and aspires to be the next big food writer. Her love of writing propels all she does from her food blog to online magazine articles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably baking. She has a ferocious sweet tooth and adores cupcakes of all shapes and sizes.

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