Economy changes collegiate plans, strengthens drive to achieve

This year's freshman class might be more driven to achieve compared to previous years, though they feel the affects of the ailing economy to a greater degree.

According to an annual national survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, 73.4 percent of students received grants and scholarships, more than at any point since 2001.

Survey Results A survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute revealed:

•51.9 percent of freshmen said their emotional health was above average •71.2 percent rated their academic abilities as above average •53.1 percent said they are using loans to help pay for college •72.7 percent said “earning power” is the chief benefit of college

Goodrich freshman Alicia Carter hoped to complete her college education at Central Michigan University, but did not receive enough financial assistance.

“Since I have been here, I thought I was going to get more financial aid,” Carter said. “I started adding up the numbers and I figured out it would be better for me to switch to Oakland University. In the long run, the financial aid package I got was not enough."

Some students chose CMU over other schools because they felt it was cheaper.

“Central was cheaper than a lot of other schools that I wanted to go to, such as Spring Arbor University, which is a private school,” said Gull Lake freshman Benjamin Hoeksema.

The economy influenced Indian River freshman Michaela Wright to take initiative by applying for financial aid that was available for her.

“Our economy today influenced me to apply for grants from CMU and local scholarships which I received,” Wright said. “It was harder for me because my parents are not paying for my education."

Some students have reported being heavily stressed prior to leaving their home for an independent life in college.

Wright said she became anxious in her senior year of high school knowing the large financial burden she would soon assume.

The survey also reported that freshmen rate their academic ability above average, are more likely to attend a college that is under 100 miles from their hometown if they are feeling the economic strain and are more likely to live with a family member.

“I think that my situation is like any other student in other college,” Carter said. “Our economy is bad and tuition keeps rising which causes financial aid to keep running out"


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