What’s holding you back?

265,208 students have the same concern.

These college students were also worried about cost—find out how they paid for college.

Everything was in fine print.

Everything was in fine print.

Student: Ashlee
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Art
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I wasn’t sure what to do.

I wasn’t sure what to do.

Student: Giovanni
Year in college
Freshman
Intended major
Psychology
Income
$10,000–$20,000
I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

Student: Imani
Year in college
Senior
Majors
African-American Studies and English
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
Money is out there to help you—just look.

Money is out there to help you—just look.

Student: Jonard
Year in college
Junior
Major
Business economics
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
It pretty much gave me a full ride.

It pretty much gave me a full ride.

Student: Adam
Year in college
Senior
Major
Aerospace engineering
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
People are willing to help if you ask them.

People are willing to help if you ask them.

Student: Alex
Year in college
Senior
Majors
Accounting and finance
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
I wanted to be a teacher.

I wanted to be a teacher.

Student: Kriste
Year in college
Junior
Major
Early childhood education
Family income
$60,000–$80,000
It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

Student: Alexandra
Year in college
Senior
Major
Psychology
Family income
$40,000–$60,000
I went to school for practically nothing.

I went to school for practically nothing.

Student: Kwame
Year in college
Sophomore
Majors
Political science and prelaw
Favorite musician
Stevie Wonder
It was easier than I thought it would be.

It was easier than I thought it would be.

Student: Stephanie
Year in college
Junior
Major
Nutrition
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
Financial aid is a lifesaver.

Financial aid is a lifesaver.

Student: Annaesia
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Accounting
Family income
$10,000–$20,000
I didn't have extra help.

I didn't have extra help.

Student: Jonathan W.
Year in college
Sophomore
Major
Air traffic control
Family income
$20,000–$40,000

College Costs Less Than You Might Think

Most students pay far less than the high prices talked about in the media.

Good news on college prices
Check out these facts about yearly tuition and fees:

Most students pay less than full price
Last year, the average student received almost $11,500 in financial aid. More than half of that money was in grant form. Grants do not have to be repaid. Almost two out of three full-time undergrads received grants.*

Focus on fit, not price
You might be surprised at what you can afford. A school that lists high tuition and fees could cost you the same or less than a lower priced school. Why?

  • You may be eligible for more financial aid at colleges with higher price tags.
  • Most higher-priced colleges give students more grant aid.

Instead of comparing colleges by their price tags, figure out which are the best fit for you, especially as you start your search.

Starting at a two-year college
With planning, patience and determination, you can attend a two-year college, transfer your credits and earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college. Students who do this can save on tuition; and they’re as well prepared academically as students who start out at a four-year college.

Like four-year colleges, two-year colleges offer a wide variety of majors, activities and services. For example, about one-third of two-year colleges have honors programs. Visit College MatchMaker to find two-year colleges that are right for you.


* The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2010 and Trends in Student Aid 2010 (All price and aid figures refer to undergraduate students)
† The College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges

College pays

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People with more education earn more money. Annual earnings, based on degree, are:

Note: 2008 median earnings for full-time workers at least 25 years old.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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