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The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

Students Learn to Manage the High Cost of College Education

As the Class of 2024 prepares for college, seniors are finding new scholarships to help alleviate the cost of a college education
Seniors+Cheryl+Smith+and+Jamie+Shih+research+on+the+numerous+scholarship+opportunities.
Rogia Banibashar
Seniors Cheryl Smith and Jamie Shih research on the numerous scholarship opportunities.

With tuition increasing over the last 20 years, students are pursuing multiple financial aid methods and applying for diverse scholarship opportunities.

According to the University of California Admissions Office, in the 2024-25 school year students who are planning on attending a school in the University of California system face estimated costs totaling up to $42,236. For California State University freshmen, prices are estimated at $30,159, with a tuition increase of 6% a year due to a drastic rise in tuition.

As student applications increase, colleges expand and funding fluctuates, attendance costs shift to reflect these changes.

“Colleges realize that [there] is an increased number of students applying and [they] want to expand their own research and programs within campus [so they charge more to students],” senior Jamie Shih said.

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With tuition continuing to increase, it is clear that this pressure presents a burden on college bound students and their families. According to the College Board, 51% of bachelor degree recipients in the 2021-22 school year graduated with an average debt up to $29,000.

Counselor Heather Bethmann advises students to start looking for scholarships despite their grade level or where they are in the college application process.
“Start looking at the cost of the colleges you are interested in now, before you’re a senior and before you have to apply,” Bethmann said.

Students also find online resources to better understand the cost of college education. Senior Cheryl Smith describes one tool that students use that gives information on college costs.

“[Attending research webinars] is a useful tool to find ways to understand the cost of college. Typically, schools give this information during webinars,” Smith said.

Students also cover the cost of education by applying for financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on Dec. 3 and is due by July 1, 2024.

According to FAFSA, students and parents are required to create a StudentAid.gov account before filling out the FAFSA application. The following information or documents including parents social security number if students are dependent, tax returns and current balances of cash, savings and checking accounts are needed for the FAFSA form.

Scholarships and grants also present a multitude of opportunities to cover portions of college costs.

According to the FAFSA, some of the college scholarships are merit-based which are awarded based on an academic achievement or a special trait, talent or interest. Other scholarships are geared for groups of people with different backgrounds such as ethnicity, gender and graduate students. These scholarships are found in various ways such as contacting the local financial aid office and finding information through federal agencies.

“Though scholarships sometimes don’t offer too much, they can amount to a lot if you apply to many of them,” Shih said.

Woodbridge High offers a variety of services to assist students with paying for college, such as FAFSA application workshops and scholarship opportunities. These workshops occur on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m and March. 5 at 2:30 p.m in the Media Center.

Different colleges visiting Woodbridge High offer information on college expenses and financial aid opportunities. Community college is also an option for students to receive two years of free college education and transfer to a university.

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About the Contributor
Leah Wong, Writer
Hey Warriors! I'm Leah Wong and I will be a staff writer for the Golden Arrow this year. This will be my first year in advanced journalism, and I'm excited to be more engaged in our school's news community. I plan to create engaging stories that will shine a spotlight on different parts of our diverse community and represent the different groups and perspectives on campus. In the process, I hope to discover more about the students at Woodbridge and give back to my community. Lets make this a great year Warriors!