Financial aid helps pay for rising cost of college

Every year, college becomes more and more expensive. Students strive to earn a scholarship or work tirelessly day and night to attain a degree in higher education.

When it comes to paying for school, students have multiple ways to fund their education. To some students, however, loans are the most common.

Senior Sarah Baughman said she knows many families who struggle with the rising cost of attending college.

“I think that getting loans is the best way for students to get that large sum of money that you’ll need for college.”

Director of Financial Services Laura Bozovic recommends students borrow only what they need when it comes to loans.

“If you qualify for a student refund, take that and be very frugal with it,” she said. “Put a good bit into savings and try to make it last as long as possible.”

While loans might be the most common, there are other programs that provide financial funding.

“I have two scholarships,” said freshman Kasey Womack. “One is the Vanguard scholarship, and the second is a band scholarship. I also (benefit from) the PACT program. A majority of my tuition is paid for, I just have to make up for housing and meal plans.”

Depending on how a student pays for school, his or her attitude toward school changes.

“School is a bit easier now because I’m not worrying about if I have enough money to pay for classes,” said senior Paige Hauck. “I never realized how stressful it is working and saving up money to pay for college. It wasn’t until I was able to get a grant and loans that I realized how hard it was.”

Junior Mitchell Lovell said he believes students who pay their way through school are more independent and responsible than students whose parents pay for school.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a way for students to receive money for school. Anyone can apply, no matter how much money the parents or students make.

“It’s a common myth that students won’t get anything,” Bozovic said. “All students who apply for the FAFSA qualify for some form of federal funding. When you apply for FAFSA, you’re applying for federal grants, federal loans and federal work study.”

Hauck’s advice for students who pay their own way through college is to create a budget and decide what is worth buying.