Michigan: Cost Of College Rises, But Students Continue To Flock To Genesee County Schools

"Helen Lund believes in the power of a college education, but with costs continuing to increase year after year, it's a heavy financial burden to carry," MLive reports. "Lund, 20, of Byron could graduate from University of Michigan-Flint owing $30,000 in loans. 'I'm lucky enough to get Pell grants, but at the same time when I look at them increasing things, I'm going to have loans no matter what,' said Lund, who has a graphic design and photography major. 'I'm going to end up with a lot of debt.' College students across Genesee County will see a tuition increase anywhere from 3.5 to 4.9 percent next year. Add that on top of federal subsidized loan interest rates doubling recently and college students can expect to pay even more to further their education. 'State funding has been reduced significantly over the past several years, to the point where it's a very small proportion of aid programs. That has been detrimental to students,' said Lori Vedder, director of financial aid at University of Michigan-Flint and board member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'I think the students who have been in school for a while are the ones who are seeing it the most. They are feeling the crunch on their loans and they are seeing the tuition increase.' That's not all that has hit students lately. On July 1, 2012, those taking out subsidized loans lost the opportunity to not be charged interest for six months after graduation. And in the last couple of years, graduate students lost access to subsidized loans altogether, Vedder said. It doesn't just have an effect on student's finances, but the entire economy, she said. It's a ripple effect. 'That's less money that students have when they graduate to go into the economy. No new car. No new homes. If they are so far in debt, some places won't let them rent an apartment. If they go into default, that can destroy their credit,' Vedder said. 'There's just so much we need to teach about financial literacy.' But with tuition continuing to increase everywhere, more students might be drawn to community colleges or commuter schools, like what is seen in Genesee County, Vedder said."

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