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April 17, 2012 12:00 am

Tuition Raises Will Hurt Families With Student Loans

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I have heard through the grapevine that there is going to be a four percent tuition increase here at St. Mary’s. The increase is going to begin next year. When I heard about this, I was wondering how students like me are going to afford college tuition.

Currently, Maryland residents have to pay about $26,000 if living on campus and about $15,000 if they are commuters. Non-Maryland residents, when living on campus, have to pay almost $39,000. Granted, some students receive scholarships, and loans are given to students who do not have scholarships.

I have spoken to students who pay for college completely using scholarships and loans; when all is said and done, they are going to have a lot of college loan money due if that is how they’re paying for school. Admittedly, a few of these students are seniors, so they will not have to endure the tuition increase, but what about the rest of us?

I, personally, am not a student who is paying for college only using loans and scholarships. I do have a scholarship, but the rest of tuition is being paid for by my parents. Now, while my family are not so badly off that I will have to transfer to a cheaper school, there is no denying that the tuition increase will hurt us financially, along with other students’ families.

I have not asked students how this will hit their families, but I do know that students who have taken out loans – and whose loans are the only way they can pay for college – will have more money due when all is said and done. Though there is often a plan for paying back college loans, the more expensive tuition is, the more students will have to pay back. The idea of taking out college loans is stressful enough; the idea that even more is needed is even more so.

College is expensive enough. There are some students who, when I asked them what they thought about the tuition increase, said jokingly that they intended to transfer. While it may be a joke now, any further increasing of the tuition might cause just that: students may transfer to colleges that are not as expensive. When not from Maryland and students live on campus – which most students do – tuition is nearly $39,000. Four percent does not seem like a very large increase, but it will hit families.

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