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Tuition Increases & Aid Reductions: Will You Be Paying More for School?

Tuition increases and aid reductions. Will it affect you?

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 12, 2011

Tuition Increases & Aid Reductions: Will You Be Paying More for School?
This summer, a number of states and colleges have slashed grant funding and raised tuition prices, giving students and their families little time to prepare for the hikes that will go into effect soon. According to Smart Money, Texas and New Hampshire announced tuition increases from 6 – 10% at some public universities. California just proposed to continue to drive tuition up, from an 8% increase just a few months ago to 12%. New Hampshire, Illinois and Georgia have all scaled down their state grant programs to students. In an interview with Smart Money, Katharine Gricevich, director of government relations at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, stated that while the Illinois grant cuts are unlikely to affect students in their first semester at school this year, they will likely see a difference second semester. So what does this mean for students? You might just be paying more for school than you originally thought.

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Why is this happening?
The issue is two-fold, as pointed out by Smart Money. First, states are receiving less revenue, and as a result of that, higher education is under the microscope as lawmakers determine where cuts can bring in more money for the state.

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Combat rising costs by applying for your scholarship matches. Second, federal funding is lacking. Smart Money lays it out perfectly: “States have been receiving millions of dollars since 2009 from the federal stimulus, but that money has run out now. As state and federal governments cut their support of the schools, the schools look to parents and students to make up the difference.” What do you do now?

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While there is little you and your family can do to change tuition increases and state cuts to aid, you can make a few changes to help alleviate the financial burden that this may further cause. 1. Call the college to see if they’re raising tuition in the near future – this will simply prevent you any further surprise.

2. If your state grant aid has been cut, ask your school if they can provide any help in terms of grant aid.

3. Research student loan options if you haven’t already.

4. Sit down as a family and closely comb the budget to see where costs can be trimmed. Is the Netflix account necessary? Are there more cost-effective ways to grocery shop for the whole family?

5. Consider getting a part-time job or taking classes at a community college that will transfer in a year or two. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where sacrifices may need to be made.

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