College Debt the Main Woe for Students, Parents

College Debt the Main Woe for Students, Parents
Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Princeton Review’s 2017 College Hopes & Worries survey reveals that biggest worry for students and parents is the "level of debt I/my child will take on to pay for the degree." While this concern doesn’t come as a surprise, it differs greatly from the average woe a decade ago; not "getting in to [a] first-choice college."

Rising tuition costs, roughly 3% to 5% a year, have contributed to families’ stress as to how they will afford college, according to the College Board. The average tuition at private four-year schools rose 54% in the last decade. Meanwhile at four-year public institutions, tuition increased by 71% in the last ten years.

For 98% of college students and their families, financial aid – including grants, college scholarships, and college loans – is needed to help pay for college. 65% claimed college financial aid is "extremely necessary." For most, the hardest part in the college application process are the college admission tests. Completing financial aid forms to help pay for college are also difficult, students claim. One way to help reduce student debt is to earn money that does not need to be repaid: college scholarships.

College tuition has increased "two times to three times faster than the rate of inflation every year consecutively for the last 20 [years]". It causes a high level of stress for high school students and their parents. Of the 10,000 respondents, 67% reported high levels of stress – which is a 4 percent increase from last year and a 20% increase from the first survey in 2003. Nonetheless, 99% of respondents believe that college is worth the investment.

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