international student life

international student

How students are coping with high cost of college.

by enrolling in cheaper community colleges, taking summer and night classes, raising funds through social media and more.

With the recent bad economic situation and lack of jobs forcing many people to want to go to college and update their skills, many colleges are losing government funding and are having to take care of more students with less resources.

Some colleges are running out of scholarship money and having to turn down many qualified applicants. Others are raising tuition fees, others cancelling many classes due to lack of funds and others are increasing class sizes, forcing teachers to replace the more involving learning process of essay writing with the easier to grade multiple choice testing.

Many students are however coping with these difficulties in various ways. Some are borrowing more loans, others are finding better and cheaper courses elsewhere, while others are even using their social networking skills to raise money.

Enrollment in the cheaper public community colleges has increased dramatically reflecting student's concerns about rising costs. Even students at expensive 4 year colleges are switching to cheaper 2 year colleges to get their basic courses completed cheaply. Other students are enrolling in cheaper summer or night community colleges to get their credits for cheap.

This increase in enrollment is forcing community colleges to offer more online courses and schedule courses at non-traditional times, some even in the middle of the night.

Some students who can afford it are also moving out of state to look for colleges that are not too overcrowded. However, most students are taking out more student loans to pay for the college. Loan application for the Federal PLUS loan program has shot up dramatically.

Once a student has graduated, they can consolidate their student loan borrowed from the Government and apply for Income-based Repayment which limits their monthly bill to 15% their disposable income.

Students are also using creative ways on the internet and using social media to look for college funds. There are websites like sponsormydegree.com, tuitionu.com and scholarmatch.org where students can post appeals for donations. These social media strategies are sometimes raising money from relatives, friends and even strangers.

Some students are also becoming activist and holding rallies to protest college cost hikes and this is helping get politicians attention to try to do something about it. An example is some students in Arizona who campaigned and succeeded in helping raise the State's sales tax by a penny to help avoid increases in tuition fees.

Some colleges are coping with decreased funding by spending their cash reserves, having employees take some unpaid leave, reducing athletics budgets and also leaving many unfilled jobs vacant

There is increased innovation in teaching methods too. Many colleges are using teaching software where students are able to study and practice their courses in the labs without requiring the attention of a tutor. This makes learning much cheaper and students are learning better and making higher scores in their tests.


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