Finding a school with overall value

March 27, 2013

One of the best tips for college is finding a school that you can see yourself attending, in terms of the university itself and its cost. Martha O'Connell, executive director of Colleges That Change Lives, provided NPR with tips on choosing the right college and explained that individuals can in fact decide based on value and economy.

Schools, on the whole, have upped their cost in recent years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2000 and 2010 there was a 42 percent hike in undergraduate tuition, including room and board, at public institutions alone.

There are ways to lessen the expense, however. In her piece for NPR, O'Connell highlights the importance of using available resources online and in the community: School websites as well as local workshops can help in figuring out how to save money. 

Additionally, a solid education can be attained from more affordable institutions such as community colleges and state schools - a good point to bear in mind when considering the costs of prospective schools.

Grants for education provide another way to save on costs, especially for those who don't want to totally sacrifice their top college pick. 

"Although two packages [offered by schools] may look the same, it's important to compare the amount of grant aid, which does not need to be repaid, and the amount of loan aid - which does," said Veronica Montalvo, vice president of the Online Education Institute Enrollment Management at Post University, in a 2013 Fox Business report.

Whether looking for more affordable schools or seeking out education grants, those who keep school cost in mind will likely still get a valuable education.

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