Higher education costs, challenge for studentts

Haley Wade, Reporter

For some students, finding a way to pay for higher educa-tion can be the one of the most challenging parts of earning a degree. While student loans offer a way to pay for the costs of college before graduation, a study done in 2009 for col-legefactual.com reports that Marshall University’s student loan default rates reached more than 13 percent, while the national average for the year was more than 8 percent. For students, this means Marshall has been shown to have graduates fail to pay back student loans at nearly twice the rate of the average college in the United States. It is estimated that more than $46 billion is offered to higher education students in scholarships and grants each year, according to debt.org.  A study done for edvi-sors.com states the average amount of debt for the under-graduate class of 2014 was estimated to be more than $33 thousand in the United States. Assistance in paying for school can be given to stu-dents for a variety of reasons, from athletic scholarships, to scholarships based on test grades.Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of edvisor.com, said although help is available, many stu-dents aren’t utilizing it. “Student’s don’t file for FAFSA out of the fear that they won’t receive scholar-ship money, or because they aren’t certain what help is of-fered,” Kantrowitz said. “Some students think they will have to pay the money back, and other’s aren’t sure how to nav-igate the website and forms.” Senior Courtney Law said while she knows the oppor-tunities are available, she has yet to reach out. “I don’t have a scholarship, and I guess I just haven’t re-ally looked for one,” Law said. “I’m graduating this spring, so I just haven’t thought to look into it too much.”  Senior Amanda Dunbar said she was able to acquire her scholarship after taking a test colleges use to determine which students meet grading criteria.  “I got the PROMISE Scholar-ship because the scores on my ACT met the requirements,” Dunbar said. “It helps to not have to pay for every last dol-lar I owe. I didn’t apply for anything else, but I’m glad I got a scholarship that’s fol-lowed me until senior year.” Dunbar said she thinks students should apply for scholarships, regardless of their standing in college. “I don’t think it’s ever too late to apply,” Dunbar said. “Every little bit helps, so stu-dents should try to see what they can get.”

 

Haley Wade can be contacted at wade68@mar-shall.edu.

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