This Study Says College Costs Stress Out Some Students More Than Others

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Are you worried about the cost of college?

Seeing that college is likely to be the first major financial investment in an individual’s life, there may be good cause behind the concern.

The stress of wondering how you’ll afford tuition, room and board, books and other fees — for four years or more — can be crushing, especially when you’re just starting out into adulthood.

It turns out, though, some people are more concerned than others.

Who’s Most Worried About Paying for College?

A recent study by the University of California-Los Angeles’ Higher Education Research Institute found female college students are more stressed about the price of college than male students.

The research institute surveyed 137,456 college freshmen at 184 U.S. colleges and universities. Just over 34% of men responded as feeling “either somewhat or very worried” about paying for college, compared to 65.7% of women. Nearly 16% of women voiced “major” worry compared to 10.1% of men.

The divide over concern is not just limited to gender. The study found only 9.2% of white students had “major” concerns about college costs while 22% of black students and 24.7% of Latino students did.

Nearly a quarter of first-generation students — 24.4% — had “major” stress over financing college compared to 10.6% of students whose parents attended college.

The cost to obtain a higher education degree has some students re-evaluating which school they’ll attend.

According to the survey, 15% of college freshmen in 2016 felt they could not afford their first-choice college. Over 11% of students surveyed said not being offered aid by their most coveted school was an important factor in deciding which school to enroll in.

How Can You Tackle That Tuition Bill?

College may not run cheap, but there’s assistance out there to help make the costs more manageable.

Students should always fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) prior to the start of each academic year to see if they are eligible for government aid.

Scholarships and grants are great ways to cut down, or totally cover, the price of college. Your university may offer scholarship packages based on academics or athletics.

You can also get private scholarships for completing essays, being involved in certain extracurricular activities or simply being a resident of a particular community.

You may want to consider getting a job to tackle the price of tuition. Over half (50.4%) of the incoming students surveyed by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute said they think there’s a “very good chance” that they will get a job to help pay for college. Here are 13 online jobs for college students that pay more than minimum wage.

And if you happen to live in New York, Tennessee, Minnesota or Oregon, you may be able to get a degree for free!

Your Turn: Are you worried about the cost of college?

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.