A 2013 UCLA study found that 75 percent of high school seniors got into their first-choice colleges, but less than 57 percent could afford tuition. Only 12 percent of freshman considered paying for college a major concern, but the average debt for a college student was $23,700.
Since high school seniors are often accepted by their first-choice colleges but can't afford them, a senior should research financial aid statistics for a college before applying. Potential students should find out what scholarships and grants the college offers, the percentage of students that receive financial aid and how much each student receives on average. Despite the attention Ivy League schools receive, their student bodies only account for 0.4 percent of all undergrads.
Despite the cost of college, over 47 percent of undergrads have an annual family income of less than $40,000. Ways students lower the cost of their college educations include taking basic courses at community colleges, searching for scholarships and working while attending school. Among undergrads who are 24 or younger and go to school full time, 23 percent work at least 20 hours per week. This benefits the students, as they learn to balance the schedule requirements of work and school.