Students, families cost-conscious about college

BUFFALO (WIVB) – For some parents, cost is the biggest factor when their children look to choose a college, and families are looking for any way to drive that number down.

Thursday was move-in day for students at that University at Buffalo. Megan Renz has been working towards this day for a long time.

“Basically I took high school classes in the morning and afternoon. I’d drive to the community college in the afternoon to take classes,” said Renz.

She earned some college credits in high school so she will have fewer courses to take at UB, which will save money. Cost is something that is on everyone’s mind.

“I agree that it’s extremely expensive,” said Sierra Nolan. “Ridiculous, but either way you have to pursue your dreams.”

Tom Renz says a lot has changed since he went to school.

“You could pay for it with a job outside of college and make a living and still go to college.”

According to CNN Money Calculator, here is the total annual cost for some local colleges, including room and board:

  • Canisius College, a private school – $50,000 a year
  • University at Buffalo, a SUNY school – $25,000 a year
  • Erie County Community College – $13,000 a year

Parents and students are looking for the best value when it comes to an undergraduate program because in the future they’ll have to pay for a graduate program, too.

Loretta O’Brien said, “We have four kids and cost was a huge variable because we have kids that are going to grad school.”

Tom Renz also thinks graduate school is where to spend the money.

“It’s far cheaper for her to go here for the bachelor’s degree then go to the expensive school for the graduate degree.”

Despite the skyrocketing costs, parents are still willing to pay the price.

“I think college is absolutely worth it,” said O’Brien. “The reality is families need to make the decision about finances and we want to have a future ourselves and not be strapped to college loans for ourselves or for the kid.”

According to college cost website Edvisors, a student who graduated in 2014 came out of college with student-loans totaling on average $33,000.

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