Crazy college costs

Lily Teran, Editorial Editor

After months of stress in the fall, seniors are finally receiving their invitations to attend college. Putting in the hard work to maintain a high GPA while also participating in extracurricular activities and curating the perfect college application was no easy task. However, a very important question has to be asked. How much am I paying to further my education?

A deciding factor for many students is whether students get enough scholarship money to be able to attend their first choice school. However, if they do not get enough money to be able to attend their first choice school, students must choose between a school that is not their first choice or even choosing community college. While it depends on where students want to attend, the cost of tuition and housing can add up to over $200,000 for four years.

“Per year, a UC costs $36,100, Cal States costs $26,585, an out of state college or university costs about $38,330, and private college can be up to $49,870. This is the average cost of attendance between in state and out of state college,” Guidance Tech Jaime Brown said.

. In order to alleviate the financial stress that can come along with attending a four-year school, there are scholarship programs available to meet family and student needs.

“There are a million and two scholarships to apply to. There really is a scholarship for anything. In high school I applied for a scholarship that only people with green eyes could apply to and they gave me $500,” counselor Karly Wardwell said. In the Titan Center, Brown keeps a log of scholarships for student needs. Wardwell explained that there is also a website called that has thousands of scholarships to apply to.

Some students who were planning to go straight to a four-year school may be reconsidering because of the cost.  The cost for attending a community college like Palomar can be affordable or even free for two years. Community colleges can also be helpful for students that do not know what they want to major in, need time to mature, or are not ready to leave home right after high school, so they choose community college.

Students can utilize what is known as the California College Promise Grant. According to, tuition of any community college will be waived. The only eligibility for the grant is California residency. Students can apply for this scholarship online or through the financial office at their chosen community college.

Juniors should start to think about their game plan for college applications. Brown recommends “having an honest conversation about what each family can afford and what they are willing to pay,” Brown said. It is important for students to also narrow down their choices for college applications over the summer.

Students should also consider applying to colleges they know they can get into, colleges that are more challenging but are within reach, and dream schools.

“Students really stress out about the college application process, so starting early is so much better,” Wardwell said. “Also have fun with it. It is really exciting. You are leaving high school, you are going to go to college… do not forget about that piece of it. It is fun and exciting and people really stress out and hate the whole process.”