Paying for college tops minds of high school seniors

By Arnold Wyrick bio | email

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - Getting a college education these days usually costs thousands of dollars a year.  Many of the students at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale say finances weighed heavily on their decision.

"I thought about scholarships, and grants and things that the school was offering. And all around program wise if SIU's journalism school was worth the money," said SIU Student Joe Aguero
Some students though, have to go into debt to get their degree.  Some of those funds are drying up in today's economy.
"With the economy right now, I'm starting to wonder where I'm going to get my loans for next year," said SIU Student Jaimie Johnson.  "It's a big factor and I definitely made it the biggest part of my consideration when I ended up deciding where I'm going."
Most high school students know they have to keep their grades up just to even think about going to college.
Carterville's High School guidance counselor Jennifer Robinson says how to pay for college is tops on most seniors minds.
"It's definitely a big topic of conversation the senior year," Robinson said.  "We visit classrooms and talk in a group format with all our seniors about what are your plans next year.  With costs being the top of the list a lot of students, they're asking me how will I even go, if my family can't afford what we're doing this year, how will we afford college expenses added to that."
That's a question Carterville school leaders are trying to answer.  They're now offering a financial aid class for their students.  It will be Sunday, February 22nd starting at 1 p.m.  Bring legal papers such as student drivers license, current income tax returns, and W-2 forms.  JALC phone number is 618-985-3741.