74% of students will base their choice on cost |
Most are confident in their plans to pay colleges and universities, but institutions can still help.
88% of undergraduates say the cost of higher education is worth it. But how they will pay for it remains their main concern.
As decision day nears Saturday and many students finalize their college plans, the piece of the puzzle that may handcuff them now and into the future – finding the funds to cover the next years of study – is gaining attention. in the second year of COVID. -19 pandemic.
Colleges and universities must be aware of this factor and consider that cost will be a key element for 74% who will make their decisions.
According to new data shared by Barnes & Noble College Insights and College Ave Student Loans, 68% of the more than 1,000 students they recently surveyed say they know how they will pay for their college education.
Almost 70% agree that parents’ savings will provide major help, as will scholarships and grants. Students will also be big contributors, with 43% noting that their own savings and income will help offset college costs. More than half will put up to $ 5,000.
“The survey highlights the incredible commitment of students to investing in their potential and future,” said Joe DePaulo, CEO and Co-Founder of College Ave Student Loans.
Student loan fees
This commitment also includes student loans.
More than 40% of those surveyed plan to take out loans to help them cover their costs. This is nothing new but worrying, especially since studies have shown that around 40% of students do not make it through after enrollment and many are struggling with debt after graduation. Student loan debt in the United States has grown to $ 1.5 trillion, or an average of $ 30,000 per borrower.
There have been continued calls to help ease this burden – including arguments from several senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to eliminate all or much of this debt – although so far there has been no there has been no formal proposal from the Biden administration. The president’s team hasn’t addressed the relief in either its infrastructure plan or its most recent U.S. plan for families, though there are several other things that could help borrowers if passed.
The first is an extension of the $ 1,400 Pell Grants to eligible low-income students. Another is the inclusion of a free two-year community college for all students. One-third is billions of dollars in support and aid for universities to help retain students and graduates, including historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and institutions serving minorities.
In an attempt to address these gaps now, colleges and universities that are seeing the number of applications and enrollments plummet (the National Clearinghouse Student Research Center noted in its last spring report that enrollment has declined by about 4.2 % since the start of the pandemic) have frozen or reduced tuition fees or offered other incentives such as discounts on housing, to attract students.
Give a hand
While the majority of students in the survey think they can handle loan repayment, over 40% also said they would look for jobs that would help them pay off those loans.
To further help prospective and new students stay on the path to financial strength, colleges and universities can help by:
- Be transparent about pricing with regards to tuition and fees. Ensure that information for prospective students is also updated on websites that students and parents are expected to visit, such as US News and World Report.
- Students should be clear in all financial aid documents and dialogue about offers, specifying the differences between grants and loans, as well as private scholarships. Also consider providing institutional support in addition to private scholarships to attract more students. All students should receive a full breakdown of the costs of their stay at the institution.
- Promote to all students and parents the importance of filing FAFSA forms annually, with reminders of deadlines on social media, websites, texts and other forms of communication that will reach them.
- Consider reducing fees and other costs on campus.
- Encourage the use of e-books and open educational or free resources by faculty to offset traditional costs of printed materials for students.