Hunting for money

With the economy in a downturn, students are feeling the mounting pressure of paying for college in addition to everything else.

Many people these days are discovering how rewarding a college degree can be. With workers being laid off or just not making enough money to squeak by, many adults are taking a financial leap of faith and diving into the books to get a college degree.

Unfortunately, with a college degree comes thousands of dollars spent on tuition and fees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics website, Sam Houston State University tuition rose approximately $824 from 2005-2008 and the overall college expenses amount rose $2,264, including, books and room and board.

According to, in the decade from 1998-99 to 2008-09, the average published tuition fees increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent at public four-year institutions.

“In the last 7 years I have worked here the tuition has increased beyond the rate of inflation.” Wesley Boyd, Associated Director of Advising said.

Boyd said he expects that more people will be on financial aid in the future and that the economy will get worse before it gets better.

With increasing prices and tuition, students will always have to deal with the economy when paying for college, but with multitudes of new students rolling onto college campuses each year, financial aid bears a heavy burden.

The inflation on everyday goods sucks pockets almost dry alone, so more students are seeking financial aid or other means to pay for school. According to, the total amount of federal aid used to finance postsecondary education rose $43.8 billion dollars from 1997-2008.

However, some good news is on the horizon. In January, Governor Perry suggested to the Texas Legislature temporarily freezing tuition cost at state universities. This would help students greatly because since 2006, when the Legislature gave universities broad latitude in setting tuition rates, tuition and fees expenses for state universities have increased 56 percent.

As financial aid increases in demand students are seeing the effects that result in their aid.

“I definitely know I am getting less financial aid now — a lot less,” Senior Autumn Crawford stated. “I’ve still got enough work/study to help me through, but the increasing prices are awful.”

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