The Cost of a College Education

College senior Atheni Asihel finds herself in a tough financial situation.

Atheni Asihel, Loyola University, explains, "At least, like $40,000 in debt for undergrad."

A price tag she says is keeping her from pursuing her original goal of enrolling in the Peace Corps.

"I have an opportunity in the business-related field which isn't my major, but it'll pay a lot more and will allow me to pay off my debt," she says.

As college costs skyrocket, a new College Board report says there is help out there.

Gaston Capteron, College Board's president, assures, "The first price you would hear for a college is not necessarily the last. There are many ways that people can get grants to reduce the cost of a college education."

This year at private four-year colleges, full-time students will pay on average $13,200 for tuition and fees; that's about $9,000 less than the average published tuition cost of $22,218.

The College Board says most students will receive enough aid through grants and tax benefits to cover 40 percent of their tuition and about 30 percent for room and board.

And these days, parents and students are increasingly looking to unconventional sources.

Capteron explains, "People are borrowing more money to go to college as the price has gone up. And so private lenders have come into that market to provide that service for parents and students."

And over the last decade, that service has steadily increased as federal loans have failed to keep up with the soaring prices.

Ten years ago, student loans from private lenders accounted for 4 percent of all education borrowing. Last year, that number climbed to 20 percent.

And for Atheni, she has no regrets over the price tag of her education.

"Having to think about your cost of education really does make you appreciate it," she says.

Which is all any parent can ask for!