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The struggle on the road to a college degree

11:11 AM, Feb 12, 2010   |    comments
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"It is really hard. It's really hard to pay for college," he said.

And that is with the way things stand now. It could get even harder.

At campuses across Colorado, from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, to the University of Colorado in Boulder, to Metro State College in Denver, there are concerns that funding will continue to be cut this year. That means tuition could go up even more.

For some, that makes college unattainable.

"It really cuts out the middle man. If the prices keep rising, it's really going to cut out the middle man and the lower man," Williams said.

He is a student at the Community College of Denver and hopes to stay that way, but with a multi-million dollar state budget shortfall, the odds are not good.

"Colorado is 49th in funding higher education," Dr. Nate Easley said. He is the deputy director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation and president of the Denver School Board.

Easley says poor families need to brace for a harsh reality.

"There's a myth that the federal government has low-income students covered when it comes to financing their education," Easley said.

Easley says even though the economy is tight, changes need to be made at the State Capitol.

"If something's not done, a lot of our public, four-year public institutions are going to be looking at how to become more private," he said.

He says students like Williams can also help themselves.

"I go over the top. I look for scholarships and grants," Williams said.

Kaylynn Hemlock is a financial aid expert with CollegeInvest who helps families fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). She says it is important now in the coming years to make sure you know all of your options, especially if students start looking for help.

"Tuition is increasing every year. Are there going to be grants? Are there going to be less scholarships and things like that?" Hemlock said.

Williams just wants to know how many changes are coming his way.

"It's going to be just ridiculous," he said.

To help students get through college, College Goal Sunday is being held on Feb. 21. It will let students and parents get face-to-face help in filling out the FAFSA. For more information, visit www.collegegoalcolorado.org.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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