“We all recognize that going to college has never been more important than it is today. Unfortunately it’s also never been more expensive. Somehow, we have to find ways to reduce that burden.”
That quote was voiced by US Education Secretary Arne Duncan when speaking at a roundtable discussion on college affordability and student loans at the White House earlier this summer.
Duncan is correct; there’s never been a time in the history of our country where a college degree was more imperative for success. Almost 40 percent of working-aged Americans now hold a college degree, according to a report from the Lumina Foundation. College graduates, ages 25-34, earned nearly $17,000 more on average than non-college graduates in 2012, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Yes, college can be expensive, but there’s little doubt that the benefits can be significant, and there are ways to make it more affordable. Scholarships are at the top of that list. In fact, scholarships and grants funded 30 percent of college costs for American families in 2013, and the average amount of money received per family was $6,355, the second highest amount over the past five years, according to a National Study of College Students and Parents, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.
The money is there, but you must do the work to obtain it. The importance of seeking out scholarship funding is vital, and good grades and strong SAT and ACT scores can have a substantial impact on an incoming freshman or transfer student’s annual tuition costs.
Case in point: Post University offers a variety of scholarships for its Main Campus students who exhibit exceptional academic abilities. Scholarships are also offered for members of the military, Post alumni, athletes, adults enrolled in the University’s online accelerated degree programs, family members attending together and several other groups.
One of our newest scholarships is the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business Scholarship, which is a full-tuition scholarship offered to two outstanding students each year who purse a business degree through the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business on our Waterbury, Conn. campus. Our High Honors, Honors and Trustee Scholarships also offer campus students more than $10,000 annually. And incoming freshmen accepted to the Honors Program with a High Honors scholarship may be eligible for a fourth-year, full-tuition scholarship.
Aside from contacting Admissions departments, there are other ways students may be able to obtain scholarships. Several local Community Foundations award hundreds of thousands of dollars to qualifying students each year. The Connecticut Community Foundation, for example, awarded more than $750,000 in scholarships to students for the 2014-15 academic year. The foundation delivers dozens of scholarships each year, including two $1,000 annual scholarships as part of the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business Scholarship fund.
Whether you’re a high school student, a parent or an adult thinking about going back to school, you need to know what you and your children may be eligible for. In 2014 higher education is incredibly important, and scholarships could be a major factor in helping you earn your degree at a more affordable cost.