Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Exponential growth; how rising costs affect us

by The Stylus
Tue, Sep 10th 2019 11:00 pm
Students across the country are being shackled by the burden of college expenses and despite the availability of scholarships and grants, many are left with many questions yet to be answered. With cost of attendance and scholarship criteria constantly changing, students are struggling to keep up.
Students across the country are being shackled by the burden of college expenses and despite the availability of scholarships and grants, many are left with many questions yet to be answered. With cost of attendance and scholarship criteria constantly changing, students are struggling to keep up.

Every fall a new group of freshmen step onto college campuses nationwide. They have all gone through a lot of preparation and made important decisions in order to get to this point. Deciding on which college to attend is a big decision, and one of the deciding factors is the students’ cost of attendance.

There is a disillusionment in the older generation which causes a disconnect between the young and the old. Though college was still a burden for generations prior, many tell stories about how they had to work in order to afford tuition and go to school full time. However, students in this generation are working two or three jobs and are still going into massive financial debt in order to obtain a college degree. 

There are many ways for a student and their family to finance college. Some are lucky and able to afford the cost themselves or without too much assistance. However, the majority of students require some sort of aid and are sucked into the world of subsidized, unsubsidized or private loans.

Luckily, many of these students have the opportunity to gain a variety of grants — like the Tuition Assistance Program or Pell grants — which do not need to be repaid. Additionally, some students are the recipients of various scholarships, like the Excelsior Scholarship, which provides students with open funds for their studies as long as they meet certain requirements.

For example, with the Excelsior Scholarship, eligible students are awarded partial or full scholarships for tuition to any of the State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) institutions with few exceptions. 

According to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation website, this scholarship is only good for full-time college students, families who “have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less” and the student must work in New York for as many years as they utilize the scholarship. 

Should students need help, the Financial Aid Office is located on the ground floor of the Rakov building. We at The Stylus believe that a face-to-face interaction is always more productive and suggest you make an appointment for assistance.  This will give students the opportunity to ask individual questions about concerns they may have. 

Speaking face-to-face with an advisor, rather than relying on the internet and phone calls that always keep you on hold, will ensure your questions will be answered before heading out of the office.

Earlier is always better than later, but be aware there may be a bit of a wait toward the beginning and end of any given semester. This summer there were some changes in the disbursement of some scholarships due to the recent increase in GPA requirement. This took many students by surprise as they were counting on the aid and had to scramble to make up the difference.

It is not uncommon that these changes occur however the absence of the aid has some students worried about whether or not they will be able to finish their degree. 

More often than not, colleges and universities are being run like businesses. The cost for attaining an undergraduate degree, private or public, is consistently climbing without an end in sight. 

According to Director of Admissions Robert Wyant, part of the issue is that the number of high school students obtaining a diploma is declining. 

If the cost of attendance continues to increase and the overall student population continues to decrease, there is going to be a gap that has to be filled somehow.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

Author List