Are You Flat Broke and Applying to College? Well, Get in Line

Barry Lenson

Are You Flat Broke and Applying to College? Well, Get in Line

Are You Flat Broke and Applying to College? Well, Get in Line  “Population of needy college students is exploding,” a recent blog post written by Daniel de Vise for the College Inc. blog, delivers some sobering news about the number of American college applicants who have no money at all to pay for their schooling.

I’d urge you to read the whole post. But until you do, here are some highlights to consider . . .

  • In Wisconsin, the number of students who can’t contribute a cent toward their education grew from 42,641 students in 2008-09 to 65,800 in 2009-10. That’s about a 50% jump.
  • Colleges are scrambling to meet the financial need of students who cannot afford to pay anything. Many colleges have been forced to deliver a 30 – 40% increase in need-based aid since 2008.
  • The maximum amount that students can receive from Pell Grants is $5,500. If the needs of these students exceed that figure – which is likely – colleges are increasingly required to offer aid or loans to subsidize the shortfall.
  • Because colleges with big endowments can offer more financial aid to students, they are currently attracting a growing number of applications from students who cannot afford to pay. And colleges with less money are likely to attract fewer applicants in the future.

What Is the Solution?

The StraighterLine blog has usually taken the position that students are being victimized by the American system of higher education – by the surging tuition rates, shrinking financial aid, and other factors. But today, we’d like to offer a slightly different opinion . . .

If you are a student who cannot afford to contribute much money toward a high-ticket college education, why not look for something less expensive instead? If you can cut the cost of college by taking courses online, or by using a program like StraighterLine’s Freshman Year of College for $999 program, why not go for it? It’s an effective way to bring college costs down to a level that you and your family can afford.

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