College: How Much is too Much?

Ally Merrion, Staff Writer/Editor

College is a fantastic opportunity to further your education and have life changing experiences, but oh my goodness it’s so expensive!

As a senior in the end stages of the college acceptance and commitment process, the big numbers thrown at me are utterly baffling. As in love with a school as I was, it may not be an option anymore because it’s simply too much money. With the very abrupt change of trying to look at other options and reorder my college plans I started asking the question, how much money is too much to pay for the college experience?

Let’s be honest, not every college offers something unique. Most schools offer about the same things across the board as far as the “college experience” goes, they all have clubs, sports, student housing, and organizations designed to involve the students. That being said, some colleges fit people better than others and have things to offer that specifically draw certain people. I know for me, some colleges have significantly more appeal than others, unfortunately I seem to have expensive taste.

In all honesty, I have no idea how “adult money” works. As much as I pretend to understand the big numbers, when counselors told me how much college would cost I couldn’t quite grasp how much money that actually is. Across the board, everyone I’ve talked to has had shaky understanding of how much college will actually cost and what effects the cost will have on their future. “This year has helped me realize how much college will cost but in all honesty, I don’t know how much it will cost because that number seems so distant from me” said senior Ana Kizhnerman.

In the long run, there are always more scholarships to apply for and more things you can do to lighten the financial burden, even after you’re attending a school. Many colleges offer scholarships for students of all grade levels in the form of on campus jobs and services to the university or through grants and upper classman scholarships. Ultimately I’ve decided to attend Colorado Christian University next year despite the cost. I found a place I’ll fit in well and be a happy successful student, the financial issues are solvable and honestly probably not as scary as they seem.

As stress seems to just keep getting piled on, college sometimes gets put on the backburner, that’s what happened for me. Until, of course, college pops back to the forefront with some new troubling news. It’s important to remember that the right fit for you is the right fit for you. The money will work itself out and there are all sorts of ways to make the financial burdens easier. Keep on going! It’s going to be ok, you’re not alone in making this decision and you have plenty of options. Nothing is permanent, it’s ok to change the plan, you can change it as many times as you want until you find the right fit for you. Just remember to step back, take a deep breath, and try not to panic, everything is going to be alright.