We’ve all heard the news about the trouble state governments have had this fiscal year, and the proposed budget cuts to deal lower debts for next year. What you might not know is that your higher education could be on the chopping block, especially if you attend a public college where more of the costs this fall may be pushed to the students. As this fiscal year comes to an end, the budget needs to be finalized in each state and as a result of government cuts, many public colleges will lose large fractions of their funding. To make up for the funding gap, universities are trying to lower spending, but have also decided to hike student fees, some as much as 22%.
“With freshman orientation right around the corner, many college students and their parents are about to get a surprise that could derail years of careful financial planning: last-minute tuition increases and cuts to financial aid packages promised just a few short months ago,” SmartMoney* reports. “As states have finalized their budgets in recent weeks and months, cuts to public college funding have started to trickle down to parents and students. Since March, at least 19 states have cut money for public colleges. Some states, including Illinois and Georgia, are also slashing grants awarded to students just a few months ago. Still more families won’t find out about changes to tuition and financial aid packages until the end of the summer or even after the semester begins — what experts say is the longest delay ever.”
Some of the states that should expect to see the highest increases for public college tuition are Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Nevada, Tennessee and New Hampshire. As these last minute changes are unveiled, students are beginning to wonder how to make up for these added costs and if they’ll be able to enroll this fall. Most students have already tallied their funds from family contribution, federal aid, grants, scholarships, and their summer job – and were all set for September. If your school does end up raising your tuition costs, one quick solution to fill the gap is to apply for a private student loan today. Affordable private loans give you the versatility to pay for all your education-related costs and the flexibility to apply when you need the funding most – which for some of you might be right now. Also, it never hurts to keep applying for more scholarships. New scholarship opportunities are added to Student Scholarship Search every day.
We hope your school is not hit by the budget cuts, but if it is, please come back and let us guide you to some more funding sources.
*SmartMoney Article: Last Minute Tuition Hikes Hit Students (7/11/2011)
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