Skip to main content


Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Paying the Price in Pursuit of Higher Education

The costs of higher education are different from country to country. The USA is one of the countries that have high costs when it comes to this kind of education. Naturally, the colleges in the country focus on providing students with a high-quality education and making them competent graduates. Before you apply for college you need to consider all the factors surrounding college education. One important aspect of it is the costs.

The tuition fees differ from college to college. They can range from $5,000 to $50,000 per year. The majority of undergraduate degrees last for 4 years which means that most students end up with $132,000 of debt. There are a few options that students have when it comes to tackling the cost of tuition fees.

Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in many shapes and sizes. It can come in the form of work-study schemes, assistantships, grants, and scholarships. Scholar ships are particularly popular among students because they don’t need to be repaid and cover educational costs. If you read more about them, you’ll find out that students can receive them based on merit or need i.e. their financial situation.

Grants are another form of financial aid. They’re similar to scholarships in that they don’t need to be repaid. There are various types of grants available such as the Federal Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, the FSEOG, and more.

Besides them, you can also opt for student loans. However, they differ from grants and scholarships since they have to be repaid. Also, they come with interest rates that will increase your debt and therefore the time you need to repay it. State aid is another type of financial aid. It comes in the form of loans, scholarships, or grants and is available to residents and non-residents of the states that come to study in their college. In other words, you have various types of financial aid you should consider before applying for college.

Student and Lifestyle Costs

Besides the tuitions, there are additional costs to consider. These are the student and lifestyle costs and they are different for every individual. The way you get to college will affect your costs. This means that if you commute by car you’ll spend more money because of your use of petrol. To cut down costs you can use public transportation instead. Otherwise, you can opt for a bicycle or going on foot. These options also depend on the climate of the state the college is in.

Another factor that affects your costs is your accommodation. Staying in dormitories is significantly cheaper than staying in rented apartments because the overall cost includes utilities and other house –related costs. Some universities include meals in the cost. On the other hand, if you stay in a rented apartment then you’ll have to take care of food, utilities, rubbish collection contributions, and more. Whichever accommodation you choose you’ll be able to enjoy a diverse community, experience new cultures, and meet new people.

The type of lifestyle you have will also increase or decrease your costs. Various restaurants will have varying prices. If you like working out then you should find a gym with a membership fee that suits your financial situation. In other words, you can have a pretty outgoing lifestyle if you can afford it. Otherwise, you can find alternatives to your activities. For example, you can hang out with friends on campus, you can enroll in PE classes at your college to stay fit, and more.


Tackling the financial costs of college is one part of the journey towards higher education. You have many options to consider when making your financial plans for college. Ultimately, you’ll have to make a plan that suits your needs and will help you effectively deal with your student debt.

Skip to toolbar