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College Affordability

By: Amanda Humes
By: Amanda Humes

Although more students graduating from high school are better prepared for college, a new study suggests that the cost is too high for many of them to go. The National Report Card on Higher Education gives Texas a D in affordability. And that's something Blinn sophomore, Norbert Hill can attest to.

"My parents aren't able to help me pay for school. I had to apply for scholarships as well as work," said Hill.

Hill says he was lucky because counselors at Blinn were able to help him find scholarships and grants, but he still has to work to make ends meet. The National Report Card compares net college costs with low and middle income families. The study shows that 30-percent of the families’ annual income is needed for a student to attend a community college and 40-percent for a four-year public college. Junior colleges are trying to help ease the burden.

“We’re trying to listen more to the needs of students and how students can prepare early for college so that they can anticipate some costs," said Juan Garcia, Director of Admissions and Records at Blinn College.

State Representative Fred Brown is on the Higher Education and Tuition Deregulation committee and says he's disappointed with the grade.

"We're really pushing the universities to look for alternatives to lower the tuition rates for offering classes on evenings and on Saturdays," said Brown.

Hill is planning to transfer to Texas A&M next year and will be paying a lot more for tuition. He is already living on a tight budget.

"It's hard of course, but I have to save and become more frugal," said Hill.

"We know that there is going to be a larger demand of students looking for affordable education," said Garcia.

Local high school and colleges say they are consistently working with students on financial aid options.


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