If college students are overwhelmed with tuition, they should pursue resources

ASU offers a number of scholarships, grants and work opportunities to help students pay for college

Most college students recognize that a bachelor's degree is a strong investment, regardless of tuition's high cost. Financial resources are there for one thing — to make college more affordable.

As college enrollments increase, more students become dependent on loans to fund their post-secondary education.

However, there are multiple financial resources that are available for students, including scholarships, loans, on-campus jobs and grants that can help assist students in compensating for this increase.

These opportunities need to be actively sought out by students. A raise in tuition is no reason not to pursue a college education. 

The state of Arizona prides itself on having low university tuition, despite the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) having raised the tuition rates at ASU, UA and Northern Arizona University over 300 percent in the past 15 years

Due to this, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit suing the ABOR over unconstitutional raises in tuition.

The Arizona Constitution says that tuition should be “nearly free as possible.” 

At ASU, the tuition and fees has increased from roughly $2,600 to $10,792 between 2002 and now. This is a 315 percent increase.

Tuition hikes, not only at ASU but also at universities across the country, hurt students who do not receive some form of financial support, and deter them from attending a four-year university.

"The raise in tuition for those who are trying to pay for college and the raises make it harder for students and discourages them from pursuing an education,” Denzel Rustempasic, a freshman majoring in supply chain management, said.  

Anna Melka, a junior studying business law, said she “views tuition raises as bad for students but (attending university is) a good investment for educational and financial purposes.”

College students often face fiscal challenges that prevent them from pursuing post-secondary education. 

With the increase in tuition over the past few years, it has become even harder for young adults to pursue their educational endeavors, which is why many students are attending community colleges and working rather than pursuing a degree at a four-year university.

Nonetheless, students can use resources such as the ASU Scholarship Portal to learn about university-offered scholarships as well as nationwide scholarships, which can be refined by a student's major, interests and career goals.

ASU undergraduate scholarship program manager Barbara Parkinson talked about the availability of on-campus resources to help students earn scholarships.

“There are tons of scholarship opportunities for ASU students," Parkinson said. "The scholarship portal is extremely helpful to college students, but scholarships are competitive, so ASU has resources that can help students prepare, including writing centers to help with essays and career services to help with resumes. ”

Though there are certainly financial barriers that prevent students from academic success, there are also various scholarships opportunities that can be awarded to students who are willing to put in the time and effort to fill out applications.

Because ASU’s tuition is considerably higher compared to previous years, students should be aware of the scholarship opportunities, grants, loans and work opportunities that are made available to them so that they make getting a college education feasible.  

In light of recent events, tuition may seem out-of-reach, but that does not mean students should give up on pursuing a post-secondary education. Tuition rates are pricey, but a degree is priceless.

Reach the columnist at nlplunke@asu.edu or follow @ninalplunkett on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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