BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - This week, students at Buffalo State College and the University at Buffalo are moving back on campus. While many are excited about starting a new academic year, they also have to think about paying for college.
Leslie Dixie-Smith, the Associate Director of Student Accounts at Buffalo State said when parents and students speak to her about college, they're usually worried about paying for it.
“The first thing that students think they need to do is apply for loans, but what they really need to be doing is applying for financial aid” said Smith.
News 4 spoke with some UB graduate students who agreed that when it came time to pick a college, the overall cost was very important.
“There are various factors [we considered] when making the decision. The primary one is the cost of tuition fees. Then the cost of living,” said Subhendu Saha, a UB graduate student.
Even after students choose a school, some are still worried about going into debt.
“I do worry. Everyone does. But I think after I graduate I will have plenty of opportunities” said Hercules Abergis, UB graduate student.
In addition to tuition, a College Board survey revealed that other expenses like room and board are rising at many two and four year public universities.
For example, the average cost for housing and food at a four year institution is more than $9,000. Smith said families can plan ahead so paying for college won't be so much.
“Ideally starting a college savings plan is first and foremost important, but for those who cannot do that research scholarships” said Smith.
If you didn't plan ahead, Smith said there are still things people can do to pay down the balance.
“The first thing with loans is making sure they apply for loans with a lower interest rate. There are loans that offer higher interest rates” said Smith.
Smith also mentioned that there are loan forgiveness programs that could help as well. It all depends on what your major is.
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