There is no such thing as a free education, and for students
paying their own way through college, finances may be stressful to
“There would be no way I could go out-of-state without my
parents helping me,” said Jonathan Washburn, a sophomore business
Washburn is from Texas, and acknowledges how expensive tuition
is for out-of-state students.
In-state tuition and fees for CSU are $3,965 and $14,552 for
out-of-state students. This amount does not include living
expenses, books or miscellaneous items, which brings an estimated
payment for in-state students up to $13,055 and out-of-state
students up to $24,342.
Although “parent loans” are available to help students, many
parents choose not to take them out.
“This may put students in a difficult spot,” said Christie
Leighton, an associate director at Student Financial Services.
Leighton suggests to students who are paying their own way
through college, to take out other types of loans that are
available and look into scholarship programs.
“It’s not just one resource but many pieces put together that
help students get by,” Leighton said. “Students can always apply
for grants and work-study, or a part-time job as well.”
CSU’s Web site also encourages students to apply for financial
aid and as many scholarships as possible. The Web site includes
on-line applications for scholarships and work-study, however being
accepted by these programs may be difficult.
“It is frustrating,” said Autumn Bryce, a freshman speech
communication major. “Scholarships are hard to get.”
Bryce, an in-state student paying for college on her own, said
her survival method is to take out as many loans as possible.
“It’s not that bad. I just deal with my finances by budgeting
and prioritizing my wants versus needs,” Bryce said.
Still, she said paying her way through college is a double-edged
“I feel more independent, but also more stressed,” she said,
“it’s nice knowing I don’t need my parents to survive, but I know
that I’ll still need to be paying on loans in 20 years.”
Atkins Meyer, a junior computer science major, is also an
in-state student paying for school on his own.
“I worked and saved for a couple of years before attending
college,” Meyer said. “One of my friends is an out-of-state student
and is up to $100,000 in debt. I did not want to end up like
Fortunately for Meyer he does not rely on financial aid.
“I work 30 hours a week at a well-paying computer job,” he said.
“I also only take 12 credits a semester so I have a little free
Meyer finishes his morning classes and heads to work, but feels
the busy days pay off.
“Paying for school by myself is both rewarding and stressful at
the same time,” he said.
As for students who may be struggling with finances, Meyer
suggests finding a balance that works – whether less school and
more work or vice-versa.
“Always apply for aid, even if you do not think you are
eligible,” Leighton said. “Applying for this assistance will help
benefit students who are financially on their own.”