With the university and college tuition prices going up in price tremendously, what can students do to make it easier on their wallets. Students can look at their options and review what will cost less in the long run. There are different ways to do this.

Many students are about to graduate from a university and start their new career! While this is a big milestone for many, it is also the beginning of trying to pay off that huge debt that it cost to go to school. College tuition has more than doubled! Carlos Lara, a Civil Engineer for Tri-Star Engineering, will be talking about how he was able to get scholarships and ideas for students to handle cost.

Lara has been working in the Civil Engineering field for over 25 years now. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Science and Civil Engineering and in 2000 from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s in Business Administration. Here are some of his thoughts on how to make tuition cheaper for college.

When we talked about the cost and how much more it is today than it was in the 90’s, there was a big difference in price. He said he only paid about $1000 a semester because he lived with his parents at the time. He did receive scholarships because of his grades. I asked him what he would do if he was a student just starting out in college now. Lara said “Unless I got a scholarship, I would go to a community college to get the prerequisites out of the way.” He also said he would not go out of state for college because it is more expensive.

We talked about where he found his scholarships. He said his Calculus teacher in high school, Ms. Benero recommended he enter a summer program at ASU. Lara says “The summer program lets you experience university life for about five weeks. It was a free program based on grades.” Lara learned more about the application and transfer process through this program. Joining programs being offered for your choice of study is something to look into as you can gain more information needed maybe even scholarship opportunities. He also said he went to the financial aid office and filled out an application every year and received Pell grants for the first year. The Pell grants you don’t have to pay back unlike student loans. He received a Board of Regents scholarship that helped pay his tuition and books. The Board of Regents Scholarship was given to the top 2% of their high school graduating class.

I asked what he would advise students going to college that did not get any scholarships and needed to pay for it themselves. He advised to know what you’re going to study because you don’t want to spend two years into college and figure out that’s not what you want to do. He would start at a community college to save money and do pre-requisites. Also he recommends to work part-time and go to school full time or take out student loans based on your financial aid. At the beginning you can get a regular job that will work with your school schedule but towards the end of your college career you need to get jobs in your field to get work experience and the network. 

Other ways to help with college tuition cost would be to get a Work-study job which you can also find out more information from the financial aid office. Try to apply for federal loans first and private loans as a last resort. The federal loans will help with repayments based on income and sometimes even offer loan forgiveness programs. Remember to try your best to get the grades needed since this can be helpful in getting scholarships that can pay for most of your tuition and books. Please check the links for more information on grants and other ways to help you out!

https://www.gccaz.edu/financial-aid/welcome

https://www.gccaz.edu/financial-aid/faq

https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/financial-aid/understand-college-grants/

https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/scholarships

https://eoss.asu.edu/access/programs/summer