The pay-out pays off

The pay-out pays off – How To Pay For College

Don Rauf

In October when the College Board released its latest statistics about the cost of college, it was no surprise to see that prices are going up. Compared to the previous academic year, tuition and fees in 2002-03 increased an average of $579 per year at four-year public schools and $1,114 per year at four-year private schools. The good news is that financial aid has increased as well. College Board estimates that $105 billion in student aid was given out in 2002-03, an increase of $13 billion over the year before. The net result is that undergraduates typically pay significantly less than the published tuition and fees.

To pay a lot less for college, you have to devote time and energy to the financial aid process. That’s where CAREERS & COLLEGES comes in. This How to Pay for College issue can get you organized and focus your search so you don’t miss a potential source of funding. We give you advice on getting federal, state, college, and private scholarships and loans. We take you step-by-step through the essential but intimidating federal aid form. And, we offer tips on stretching-college dollars and our picks of great schools that cost less. (Plus don’t miss your chance to win a laptop for college by filling out the entry form/survey after page 24.)

Still, there’s no denying that college is a sizable expense. But when you Look at future earnings, it’s definitely an investment worth making. Latest statistics show that males with a bachelor’s degree earn about $20,000 more per year than those with a just a high school diploma; females with a four-year degree earn about $25,000 more. In a lifetime, that can add up to about $1 million more income.

That payoff is certainly worth the “pay-out,” and what you P;W out can be a lot less if you read this issue cover to cover and make sure you’re getting the dollars you deserve. But remember college isn’t right for everyone. And, there are plenty of careers out there that are both personally and financially rewarding. That’s a topic we’ll be covering in our next issue that comes out in late January.

COPYRIGHT 2003 EM Guild, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group