Ways to handle college expenses

Leah Wilhelm, Reporter

Since 1963, college tuition has increased by 748.4%. With increase in cost for education, many are forced to take out loans and potentially pay them back for many years after they graduate college. Many can’t afford to attend at all. 

Luckily, Hershey High School (HHS) offers ample advice and counseling to help students navigate these expenses. Our school offers guidance in cost reduction, scholarships, and making the best of your college experience. 

Lauren Doyle, HHS counselor, suggests how students should prepare for college and what should come first. Before even thinking about preparing for college,” Doyle said, “start thinking about careers.” 

Within the Hershey School District, students start learning about careers as early as elementary school. Students will continue career searches throughout their time in middle school and highschool as well. 

By the time students reach high school, colleges will begin looking at how you perform in classes and in extracurriculars. How you perform could determine what type of school you can go to and what types of scholarships you are eligible for. 

Doyle said, “To be honest, they are really looking at grades. They also want to look at the rigor of the courses you’ve taken.” For example, doing well in honors, or AP courses may indicate that you could strive academically in a college setting.” 

No matter what college you plan to attend, maintaining good grades will be crucial to your acceptance and any scholarship opportunities. Hershey High School also offers several potential scholarships to its students, which can be found on the schools website under HHS counseling. 

The website provides links to several national, regional, and local scholarship opportunities. HHS counseling also provides a section on financial aid and how to navigate it. 

One scholarship offered at our school comes from Cincinnati University. “Every year one of our seniors from Hershey High School is awarded a full scholarship to the University of Cincinnati,” Doyle shares. This includes room and board and meal plans as well. 

Another simple way students can reduce the cost of college is looking local. “Look at going to a school that’s closer to home,” Doyle said, “living at home for maybe a year or two, and then go on campus.” One of the largest expenses with attending college is living on campus.

By planning ahead, maintaining excellent academics, and searching for scholarship opportunities, students can make the most out of their college experience and ensure they are making the best economical decision with their University.