From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Colleges and financial aid

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Fri, 2 Apr 2004 14:16:44 -0600

April 2, 2004	News media contact: Linda Green 7 (615)742-5470 7 Nashville,
Tenn. 7 E-mail: 7 ALL-YE {154}

NOTE: The following may be used as sidebar to UMNS #153

By Pamela Crosby*

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)--When considering the price of higher education, it
always pays to remember that most colleges have several kinds of student aid

At United Methodist-related colleges, from 35 percent to 90 percent of the
students receive some form of financial aid.

The price for tuition listed in college catalogs and on the Internet is
rarely what students and parents pay. It's important no one assume that the
sticker price is final. 

Only 8 percent of students enrolled in four-year institutions pay full
tuition charges of $24,000 per year, according to the American Council on
Education. About 29 percent attend institutions charging less than $4,000,
and almost 70 percent face tuition charges of less than $8,000. 

On an average, students at most public and private schools graduate with
approximately $20,000 in debt.

Institutional aid (grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans)
brings down the price of higher education. 

Taking into consideration grant aid and adjustments for inflation, the
average tuition paid at private colleges has actually declined over the past
decade, according to the American Council on Education.

An earlier graduation rate (graduating in four years or less) lowers the
cost. Cutting down the time spent in college doubles the benefit of finishing

Planning ahead for college increases the chances of having a lower debt. 
When planning ahead, college and university officials suggest remembering the
following definitions:

7	Cost: the amount institutions spend to provide education and related
education services to students (measured through expenditures)
7	Price: the amount students and their families are charged and what
they pay for educational services. Prices differ, depending on what is
7	Sticker price: The tuition and fees that institutions charge.
7	Price of attendance: The tuition and fees (sticker price) that
institutions charge students, plus other expenses related to their education.
These expenses may include housing (room and board if the student lives on
campus, or rent or related housing costs if the student does not live on
campus), books, and transportation. This term is often referred to as the
"cost of attendance."
7	Net price: The amount students and their families pay after financial
aid is subtracted from the total price of attendance.

Krista Gray, a pre-pharmacy student at United Methodist-related Shenandoah
University, Winchester, Va., said because of the large numbers of people
trying to get money for college, "it is impossible for everyone to get help."
She suggests that prospective college students and current students "check
out local organizations for scholarships, apply for every scholarship
possible in hopes that you at least will get a couple of them. This way
everyone will have an opportunity to pay for the education they want."

The 123 United Methodist-related schools, colleges and seminaries serve
United Methodist students and their families through generous scholarship
programs. The United Methodist Loans and Scholarships programs, the United
Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education scholarships, the Black
College Fund apportionment, and United Methodist Student Day Offering are
among the opportunities awaiting students.

In 2001, scholarships were granted to 4,186 students; in 2002, 4,190 students
received scholarships; and as of July 8, 2003, 2,245 students had received

Scholarship figures are based on the academic year.

In 2001, the Office of Loans and Scholarships granted loans to 1,334
students; in 2002, 756 students; and as of June 30, 2003, 401 students.


United Methodist News Service
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