According to the U.S. Department of Education, 71% of undergraduate students received some form of financial aid in 2011-12.
That is a 5% increase since 2007-08.
The average amount of aid increased from $9,000 to $10,800.
According to a report from Sallie Mae, How America Pays for College, in 2013, college expenses were covered in the following way:
- Students borrowed 18%
- Parents borrowed 9%
- Parents’ savings 27%
- Grants and scholarships 30%
- Relatives and friends 5%
- Student income and savings 11%.
Since the recession of 2009:
- Parents have contributed less to meet college expenses.
- Students borrowed more to meet college expenses.
- Use of college savings plans increased.
- Affordability has jumped to become the #1 factor in college selection.
- Many colleges and universities have slowed the rate of annual tuition increases.
- Some schools are charging different tuition rates for different majors.
- Finding out before you apply if you can afford the schools your list.
- Meet with a financial aid counselor before you submit an application.
- Ask the hard questions.
- Debt is manageable or unmanageable only in relationship to starting salaries. Try to keep your loan payments to 15% of your first year starting salary.