Students need financial plan

Ann Savage, IV Leader Columnist

Can we afford to go to college?
As I was sitting in one of my classes, my instructor asked, what it is we expect to get out of our education. The first student responded I am going to work in television at CNN; the next answer was, I am going into radio.  The rest of the answers varied but they were surprisingly similar.
I spoke with a few other fellow students and every one of them had huge expectations of where they will be placed when their college careers are over. They also dream of the huge six-figure paycheck associated with it.
When reality sets in, it seems to some as if they have been bushwhacked. The cost of a degree versus the amount of pay you will receive on the job can be staggering.
Students need to balance the cost of the education to the amount they will be paying back. Unless the student receives a full ride scholarship or have parents who can afford to pay for college for them, a student loan will be taken out to compensate the remaining balance of tuition.
A four-year university can cost up to $30,000 a year depending on where you decide to go. This makes community college very appealing for many students. For two additional years they can live at home and save on living expenses.
Others choose the military as a way to pay for college. Depending on the branch and how long they stay in the service, a person can have their college tuition paid completely.
No matter what a student plans to receive their degree in, they need to have a plan on how they are going to pay for college. Student loan repayments begin six months after school is finished and they usually need to be paid back within 10 years.