dorm room
room and board
August 14, 2013

Rising College Costs


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.


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