WNYT.com

High costs of college education examined

Posted at: 12/12/2012 6:15 PM
Updated at: 12/12/2012 6:20 PM
By: BethWurtmann

Albany - Getting an education and ultimately a job was what students at UAlbany said were priorities, when asked by NewsChannel 13.

Paying for their degree, was a source of anxiety.

"I really wish money wasn't even a question in going to school, to worry about that. Worrying about money makes it a little tougher," said Nick Padula, UAlbany Student who studies nanotechnology.

Erika Kissh. a freshman, said she tries not to think about college loans. 

"I don't even want to imagine actually. I'm putting that off until I'm done with law school and everything," shes said.

According to the College Board, annual tuition, room and board at a four year public college costs $17,860 on average, before financial aid and tax credits are deducted, $39,518 at private nonprofit institutions.

On Wednesday, lawmakers on a State Assembly Committee on Higher Education asked educators what they're doing to drive down costs. SUNY's Chancellor said one program aims to get students working during their studies.

"We're very excited about getting more of our students employed while they're in college, in the careers of their choice, so that brings down the cost of college so they actually earn money in their field," said Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor.

At The Sage Colleges, students are also encouraged to finish faster.

"We've created a three year degree and we have multiple degrees where you do undergraduate in a shorter amount of time and move straight into a graduate program," said Susan Scrimshaw. Sage President.

Partnering with lawmakers to keep financial aid coming is another priority. All ideas that students say will pay off for them.

"I'm not sure what the answer might be but I'm glad they're at least talking about what they should be doing to make it easier, more affordable," said Padulla.

The University at Albany is also part of a pilot program called SUNY Smart Track to help students manage their costs, including tuition, books, food, and apartment rentals, so they won't graduate with debt they can't pay back.