The financial burden and confusion of the college experience


Financial aid is a crucial part to the college experience in America. Without it, many students find themselves embroiled in debt, or dropping out. 

Financial aid options were presented to students during many different points throughout high school. Some were given help back when they were freshman and others were given help while they were seniors.  

Carson Carter was one of the many students who was talked to about scholarships and financial aid back when she was a high school freshman. Carson, a recent graduate of the class of 2023 reached out to her counselors and got the help of her parents to apply for financial aid starting the beginning of her senior year of high school.  

Counselors are good to have while applying for financial aid. A good counselor will go the extra mile to make sure you are all set before starting college. Alayna said, “It was a little rocky in the beginning because my counselor wasn’t worried about helping but then I swapped counselors and it went a lot smoother.”  

The application process can be a bit complicated and by getting the help you need it can go much easier. A lot of students find themselves waiting to hear back on whether they are receiving aid for the upcoming year. This process can be incredibly nerve-wracking as the school year approaches. 

Emma, an upcoming first-year student at ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College) is one of these students. Emma said, “I applied way before I graduated, and I am still waiting to hear back.”  

It is a waiting game when it comes to financial aid, even after reaching out to her counselors, Emma was told she would have to wait.  

Some students are not given the opportunity to learn more about financial aid while they are in high school, making their entrance into adulthood even more difficult. Some were not able to apply for scholarships until after they graduated.  

Bloom, a recent graduate, didn’t have the help of her counselors while she was still in high school. After she was accepted into college, she then had to apply for many scholarships at the last minute. 

She wasn’t aware that there wouldn’t be many options for her. She said, “I am only 17, so student loans aren’t even an option for me unless I have a cosigner with good enough credit.”  

If she doesn’t get accepted for scholarships and if she doesn’t qualify for student loans, she would have to postpone college until she is either old enough for a loan or until she can apply for more scholarships and grants. 10% of people don’t go to college after taking a gap year and she doesn’t want to be one of those people. 

Each person has gone through a similar experience. They will each have to choose what they should do with their money. Whether it be going out with friends or staying in and studying to save for other costs, a choice must be made.  

While the financial burden of attending college affects every student in a unique way, one must consider the price of their future in or out of college. 


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