Paying for College
There is no such thing as “average” tuition rates when it comes to an online college or university. Tuition varies considerably across states, regions, and sectors of education.
For example, average yearly tuition and fees (not including room and board) at public four-year colleges ranged from $6,428 in the Southern states to $9,857 in the New England area, according to the College Board’s 2010-2011 reports. The disparity is even greater for private nonprofit four-year colleges, ranging from $23,601 in the South to $34,295 in New England.
Costs for room and board at college are additional and can also fluctuate widely. For example, in spite of having comparatively lower tuition and fees, public four-year colleges in the Western states charge the most for room and board at an average of $10,439 per year. The second highest average yearly room and board rate for public colleges in 2010-2011 was New England at $9,587, while the lowest was $7,131 in the Southwest. Average room and board at private four-year colleges ranged from $8,175 per year in the Southwest to $11,454 in New England.
Other general costs incurred by college students include those for books and supplies, which typically cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per year; health insurance, which can cost approximately $800 to $2,000 per year if it is not included in the cost of tuition; and personal expenses, which vary according to the cost of living in various locations.
Luckily, financial aid is available to help pay for architecture school. Financial aid for college comes in three primary forms: grants, scholarships, and loans. Many students pay for their college careers from a combination of all three. Grants and scholarships are both free money that does not have to be paid back, unlike loans, which do; so these first two options are obviously more desirable.
- Grants are funds given usually (but not always) by nonprofit organizations such as the federal government, corporations, or foundations. They are awarded for many purposes, not all of which necessarily include attending college. Some grants are based on financial need; some are for a special project or business venture; others are awarded as financial aid for college. There are usually no special requirements attached to a grant other than meeting the initial qualification and sometimes writing a proposal to the donor of the grant.
- Scholarships, which are given by the government, businesses, professional organizations, colleges, and universities, are funds that are intended specifically for people attending college. The recipient also is usually required to meet certain conditions both before and after receiving the money. >For example, recipients might have to achieve a minimum grade point average before receiving the scholarship, and then maintain a certain grade point average afterwards. Scholarships can be awarded on the basis of many things, including financial need, race or ethnic origin, the field the student is majoring in, or merit (usually for good grades or some outstanding talent).
- Loans can be obtained through many sources, including governments, colleges and universities, or private banks, but they are debts that must be re-paid. It is therefore best to estimate your school expenses carefully and borrow only the amount you know you will need in order to avoid excessive financial liability after graduation.
- Other forms of financial aid can include such things as work-study programs, in which the federal government subsidizes nonprofit and campus jobs for students; employer tuition assistance, in which reimbursement for college tuition is a form of employee benefit for a student or a student’s parents; and savings programs such as state-sponsored pre-paid tuition plans, which lock in current tuition rates.
Last Updated: 04/30/2013