Finding college scholarships in light of tuition increases

    7:15 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Fiscal Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees for the University of Arkansas met Tuesday.

    The group reviewed proposed tuition and fee rates for the 2013-2014 school year, and any increases exceeding 3.5 percent will appear before the committee. U of A is not the only institution dealing with higher costs; students across the nation are dealing with college tuition getting more expensive.

    Most families turn to scholarships to help with paying for higher education, yet they still feel the pinch when it comes to costs. So what options are available for these families?

    "We've got some great financial aid programs in place and yet students still seem to have some needs," said Dr. Dean Kahler, the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at UALR.

    He added that it's never too late to start saving.

    "Opening a savings account and getting a student work job while you're still in school I think are really, really important," Kahler said.

    While he said the savings won't meet every need, assistance like Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) can also help.

    "The more diligent that a student is at searching for scholarships through good resources like this, the more likely they are to find resources that will be able to help them with at school," Kahler said.

    Reginald Glenn is a student at UALR, who has more than one scholarship.

    "Yes, I have Arkansas Lottery, Arkansas Pell Grant, but yet that's still not enough," Glenn said, and he has looked at others for supplemental support.

    Brandi Hinkle, communications coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, said one helpful tool already implemented combines the application process for all scholarships.

    "What we call a universal scholarship application. In years past, individuals had to apply for each scholarship individually, so we tried to make that an easier process," Hinkle said.

    A two-year college might be a more affordable route for some students, according to Hinkle. There they can get a one or two-year degree and go straight into the workforce.

    "We always recommend students, if they don't want to move off to a campus, if there's a good two-year college nearby, it saves them a lot of money for a two-year. Get their basics and then transfer if they want to get a bachelor's [degree]," Hinkle said.

    No decision was reached in Tuesday's meeting regarding increasing college tuition. It could come as early Friday.

    Two sources for financial planning, as recommended by UALR, include FAFSA and Fund My Future.

    Twitter: @BuhrmanM

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