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College Affordability Means More Than Tuition

College BooksFor the vast majority of today’s high school students, attending and graduating from college is a clear aspiration. Whether it be the vast lifetime earning difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate, the types of jobs available to graduates in the 21st century, or the self-satisfaction of earning that degree, the goal is a college education.

In recent years, the national debate has been on college affordability, with a keen eye on tuition costs and available financial aid. But as Inside Higher Education recently reported, there is more to the financial barriers of college than just the tuition bill at the start of each term.

Yes, today’s students may now be facing $400 textbooks for the classes they seek to take. Imagine that, a single textbook that costs more than a student would make, after taxes, working 40 hours in a minimum wage job. It’s no wonder some students, as Carl Staumsheim reports, are opting to go to class without purchasing the requisite materials. And it is no surprise that some organizations are stepping in with alternatives to that $400 textbook.

Such costs are also why organizations like ERCA are proud to offer college scholarships to deserving aspiring college graduates. Hopefully, ERCA scholarship winners have some additional financial help to avoid having to make the choice of whether to go without a needed textbook or classroom material.

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