A growing need for financial aid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A growing need for financial aid

March 11, 2003

Albany - More and more college students are relying on financial aid to pay for their education. "I've been on financial aid for two semesters now, and I wouldn't be able to come to Darton without it," said 20 year-old Paige Peavey. The number of financial aid applications received for the upcoming semester soared 30%, on average, at colleges across the country.

Requests for Pell Grants and student loans jumped at Darton College and ASU this year. Lost jobs, exhausted savings accounts, and shrinking portfolios have more parents depending on financial aid to keep their children in college.

More than half of Darton College students received the federal Pell Grant fall semester. And, the number of students who rely on financial aid increased about 10% since in 1999. The Pell grant gives students $4,000 each school year. Many student who don't qualify for the federal aid take out student loans. And, that's when the debt starts adding up.

"It's not hard for me to pay my bills," said Peavey. "As long as I keep the HOPE scholarship I'll be all right. But, I feel bad for the students who work and go to school full time to receive their Pell grant money."

More and more requests for financial add are flowing into ASU's office as well. 30% of ASU students received the Pell Grant. Enrollment has also increased at both colleges thanks in part to HOPE. But, it the extra expenses once paid for by mom and dad that students are taking upon themselves and using loans to pay for.

On top of this, most universities and colleges are asking for financial help too. The tough economy caused annual endowments to drop 6% at colleges nationwide.

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