BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - College students across Western New York are heading back to college this week and getting a crash course in real-life finances and campus safety.
Frank Longarello is one of the members from the class of 2018 moving into Buffalo State on Monday. Like most of the incoming freshman, he is very excited for this new chapter, and a bit overwhelmed by his new surroundings.
"It's pretty impressive. Big huge, buildings, it looks awesome," Longarello said.
Also like many of his fellow freshmen, he has taken out a loan. According to Buffalo State's Vice President of student affairs, Hal Payne, 85 percent of the college's students receive financial aid of some sort.
"One of the many orientation classes freshmen will be taking is how to manage their finances and how to deal with the cost of college, including grants, loans and scholarships," he said.
At nearly $6,000 a year, Buffalo State is a bargain compared to other SUNY schools, but can still be a burden for many families. Because of the rising costs of higher learning, parents say they're stressing the importance of keeping up on schoolwork to avoid extra semesters.
Rennie Glasgow said, "You can have friends, you can associate, but insure that your classes come first and that you focus on the agenda that you're here for."
While grants and scholarships are preferred, educators say students shouldn't be afraid of loans.
Payne said, " The loan ends up being worth it. The issue is how to prepare for and how to learn how to pay it back so that it doesn't become a burden."
Teaching safety is also a top priority during orientation. Besides finding out where certain buildings and classes are held, students are also taught about the potential dangers of an urban campus.
Chief of University Police Peter Carey said, "We want them to experience the activities and the culture of the city but we want them to be safe."
Tips include staying in groups, chipping in with other students for a taxi or to call campus shuttles if needed.
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