Shelby: Millions of college freshman are packing up and moving to campus this month. But some students will be skipping the dorms to live with family instead.
Jessica Phan: I was very careful to make sure that I didn’t ask my parents for too much.
Shelby: By staying with her aunt who lives near school, Jessica Phan will save $10,000 in room and board, a cost that many students pay to live in dorm rooms and eat on campus.
Those room-and-board costs rose about 4% at four-year universities last year. According to a College Board survey out just this week, students who attended public universities in their home states paid more in living expenses than they did their classes. On average, about $8,655 in tuition compared to $9,200 for food and housing. Factor in school supplies, transportation, activity fees and other bills, and it is not hard to see why college costs are putting families in a bind.
Jessica: Each year, it goes higher and higher. And it’s hard because I know my family income isn’t increasing at the same rate that college tuition is increasing.
Shelby: Even with the lower student loan rates that President Obama signed into law, students are still facing bigger bills for just about every college cost. Cost is a big reason why 67% of students dropped schools from their wish list during their college search. That is up from 58% from 2008.
Jessica’s dream was to attend Stanford, but she ended up going to the University of California, Irvine instead.
Jessica: I was actually going to apply to a bunch of private schools but didn’t apply to any because my mom couldn’t afford them anymore.
Shelby: And more students are turning to financial aid. Parents used to pay the biggest share of their children’s tuition bill. Now, grants and scholarships cover 30% of college costs while parents fund 27%. Loans cover 18%.
Jessica: If I didn’t have the scholarship or grants, I would definitely be struggling with debt until I was forty. It’s just too much.
Shelby: Thanks to good grades and financial need, Jessica received a state grant that will cover more than 90% of her school’s $15,000 tuition. But after her first year, she will have to keep her grades up to keep her grant.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.