Paying for college should be a high priority for anyone who’s considering attending college. With the current state of the economy, just how easy is it to get financial assistance from the institution of your choice?
Most colleges and universities provide financial aid for students through various sources such as loans and grants.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 66% of all undergraduate college students received some type of financial aid in 2007-08 before the economic downturn. The total financial aid average was around $9,100 for the academic year for those who received any type of aid.
Of all undergraduates, 47% received federal student aid in 2007–08, the average amount of which was $6,600. Sixteen percent received an average of $2,500 in state-funded grants and 20% received an average of $5,000 in grants funded by the post-secondary institution they attended.
But when you factor in an economy like we have today, what role does this play in how students decide on a college?
“I get financial aid and I also get funding through scholarships. RU was the only school I looked at, so financial aid didn’t really play a role in me deciding to come here,” said senior Jenna Duranko.
Radford University’s financial aid website states that more than 60% of all RU students receive some form of grant, loan, employment assistance or other type of financial aid.
According to RU’s website, tuition and fee’s for the 2011-2012 academic year stands at $4,160 per semester for an in-state full time enrolled student with $8,320 being the total for the academic year. Tuition for out-of-state full time students stands at $9,739 per semester with the total being $19,478 for the academic year.
For graduate students, in-state tuition is $4,537 per semester and $8,881 per semester out-of-state.
Even with these totals, RU continues to be one of Virginia’s most affordable colleges.
For freshman Daniel Gray, the deciding factor on which school to attend wasn’t based on the amount of financial aid he received at all, but rather the school’s overall cost of attendance and how the amount of aid received offset the cost.
“A school I was accepted to in North Carolina was going to give me money, but they were more expensive anyway and not as good of a school as RU,” said Gray.
Sophomore and transfer student Callie Dupree received more financial aid from another institution, but chose to come to RU instead.
“I received more financial aid my first year of college at a private school in South Carolina, but I chose Radford because I wanted to change my major to music business and Radford had the major that I wanted,” said Dupree.
Foundation Scholarships are another avenue RU uses to meet the financial needs of students. Each year, students are provided a link to apply for various scholarships.
The Foundation Scholarship Booklet can be located here.
Tuition and fees are set every year in May for the upcoming August-May academic year. Actual costs for the upcoming year won’t be available until then, as noted by the RU website.