Financial Pressures

National survey shows pressure increase for freshman trying to pay for school

by Published: Mar 29, 2012

Many col­lege fresh­men have been feel­ing the pres­sures and chal­lenges of pay­ing for their edu­ca­tion more than ever.

According to a national sur­vey of fresh­men done by the University of California Los Angeles, the impacts of the eco­nomic down­turn are becom­ing over­whelm­ing for many stu­dents. Although the fresh­men at Ferris State University were not included in the sur­vey, the pres­sure is no less for them.

Spencer Gilmore, an 18-year-old FSU fresh­man major­ing in den­tal hygiene, was unsure if she would be leav­ing her home­town of Grand Blanc to attend col­lege due to insuf­fi­cient funds.

“Money was def­i­nitely a decid­ing fac­tor of whether I attended col­lege or not. My fam­ily doesn’t con­tribute, so I have had a lot of stress when it comes to school pay­ments,” Gilmore said. “I have to find a way to pay for my edu­ca­tion, along with every­thing else, on my own.”

Gilmore said in order to pay for her edu­ca­tion, she has used her life-savings and obtained a part-time job out­side of being a student.

Ashley Mitchell, an 18-year-old Ferris fresh­man in nurs­ing from Battle Creek, agreed with Gilmore about find­ing ways to pay for school.

“I def­i­nitely needed to get a schol­ar­ship, or else I would have been pay­ing for school out of pocket. And if that was the case, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t be at this school,” Mitchell said. “I would find a way to get an edu­ca­tion, but the cost of it makes it almost impos­si­ble for students.”

According to 19-year-old FSU fresh­man Vincent Veldink from Detroit, col­lege was some­thing his fam­ily never con­sid­ered fea­si­ble. The graphic design major doesn’t know where he will be next year because of the high costs of education.

According to the national sur­vey, there are fewer funds avail­able to stu­dents through grants and schol­ar­ships. It also says the usage of loans is increasing.

Only 69.5 per­cent of stu­dents said they were using schol­ar­ships and grants to pay for school com­pared to the 73.4 per­cent of stu­dents in 2010. In 2001, 5.6 per­cent of stu­dents reported that they expected to use $10,000 or more in loans to pay for their first year of col­lege. By 2011, the per­cent­age of stu­dents more than dou­bled to 13.3 percent.

The national sur­vey is called the Cooperative Institutional Research Program Survey. It is based on the responses of 203,967 first-time, full-time stu­dents. The first edi­tion of this sur­vey started in 1966, and it is now the largest and longest-running sur­vey of American col­lege students.