Bear Facts

The wealth effect

college choices affected by family finances

Students+say+that+college+cost+is+increasing+more+and+more+each+year.+This+is+causing+increased+stress+on+families+and+students%2C+causing+them+to+worry+more+and+more+about+being+able+to+pay+for+college%2C+students+say.
Back to Article
Back to Article

The wealth effect

Students say that college cost is increasing more and more each year. This is causing increased stress on families and students, causing them to worry more and more about being able to pay for college, students say.

Students say that college cost is increasing more and more each year. This is causing increased stress on families and students, causing them to worry more and more about being able to pay for college, students say.

Photo by Max Feldman

Students say that college cost is increasing more and more each year. This is causing increased stress on families and students, causing them to worry more and more about being able to pay for college, students say.

Photo by Max Feldman

Photo by Max Feldman

Students say that college cost is increasing more and more each year. This is causing increased stress on families and students, causing them to worry more and more about being able to pay for college, students say.

Max Feldman, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Picking a college is tough, but for many students the challenge is even greater just because of how much money is in the bank.

With most of the Lake Zurich community falling into the middle class range, according to the United States Census Bureau, students like Andy Gatza, junior, are realizing that it is nearly impossible to go to top tier schools on your own.

“To go to a decent college, you might be looking at upwards of $30,000 to $40,000 a year. It’s just unattainable for someone who can only get jobs for minimum wage and doesn’t have full support [from parents]. So a lot of students are going for colleges with tuitions under $20,000 a year, which is much more attainable,” Gatza said. “I had a friend who graduated last year, she had tons of AP classes, was taking night classes at the community college, eight clubs, just an outstanding resume. But she was still aiming to go to a college that was a $20,000 tuition, simply just because she didn’t have the money.”

However, some families may have an easier time than others do. Students who come from families with higher incomes often have more opportunities when it comes to college, according to Neha Praseed, senior from a higher income family. With more wealth, students can rely on their parents to help pay for school, and that makes all the difference when it comes to student futures, Praseed says.

“My parents have been very quick to tell me that money should not be a factor when I decide what I want to do, they really just want to see me perform the best I can at the best school I can,” Praseed said. “So since they have told me that I shouldn’t worry about the money, I have been applying to the best ranked schools I can and have not let economic status stop me.”

Though some families may be more fortunate than others, money is still a consistent roadblock for most students when picking colleges, according to Craig Lehigh, counselor. Students from families of all income levels still look at cost as a factor for picking which college to go to, Lehigh said, but there are always options to make the process easier.

“People who are [in a lower income bracket] can sometimes qualify for guaranteed student loans or grants, whereas a lot of people in the middle class make too much, so they find it more difficult as far as affording college,” Lehigh said. “In addition to grants, there are also scholarships that students can take the initiative to go for. [Some other things] are if a college wants a student bad enough, money can come from their end, too. Colleges are also cheaper in state than out of state, and then community colleges are other [affordable] options.”

However, for students who want to go to those more competitive, expensive schools, scholarships seem to be an attainable option, according to Gatza.

“If you are a junior right now, you should be applying for scholarships, because that’s where the majority of your income is going to come from. Realistically it will not be possible to pay for all of your college tuition just by working, it doesn’t matter how many jobs you have, it doesn’t matter how many hours you fit in, it’s just not realistically possible for a lot of people,” Gatza said. “The amount of money you will get [from scholarships] is not a lot, like $500 dollars for example. But it adds up over time if you apply for enough of them, and that really makes a difference when it comes to living costs and tuition.”

While scholarships are an option for a lot of students, Praseed says that academic opportunities and success may come easier to students from higher income families, especially those who value education.

“Growing up in a family and a community that values and invests time and money into how you do in school and how you grow as an individual in school, that opens up your doors to pursuing anything in high school,” Praseed said. “Having a family that is completely invested in my academic performance was always my strongest motivator, especially when I was younger. They’d question me about what I’d learned at the dinner table every night and encouraged me to get the most I could out of the school day. Maybe I felt like I needed to impress them at first, but it’s raised my personal standards of my work and driven me to take pride in it.”

Ultimately, however, those scholarships do not pave the way for every student to get into a competitive college, Gatza said, for many students, there are still struggles.

“[My parents said] they would help me with a couple of the living costs when I start out, but they wouldn’t help me with any tuition. That was the end of it, there’s no question in me paying my own tuition unless something devastating happens to me. I’m on my own for the tuition, and it’s just expected of me to do it,” Gatza said. “So it’s great if you get accepted into a college, but if you don’t have enough scholarships to go, you can’t go. Nothing is going to change, you either have the money or you don’t.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Max Feldman, Staff Writer

As a sophomore, this is Max’s first year on staff for the Bear Facts program. He aspires to study psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and become a stereotypical...

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Left
  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Motorcycle Rider is Schools Santa

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Budgeting for success: how Gen Z does business

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Game for the brain

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Grads to return home for Bears Back Home

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Student spending

  • Cover

    Funding your future

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    To pledge or not to pledge

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Adult vs child

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Like no other

  • The wealth effect

    Cover

    Teenagers VS Society: the way society judges based on first looks

Navigate Right
Lake Zurich High School Student Media
The wealth effect