This time of year, many high school seniors are anxiously awaiting their college acceptance letters. Along with wondering if they are going to get into their first choice school, many are also faced with the question of how to pay for their higher education. Senior year for North Brunswick student Lauren Cranidiotis has been filled with ups, downs, and disappointment when it comes to going off to college. She applied to three 4-year colleges in North Carolina. She did not get in to her first choice. "It's pretty stressful for not being able to go there, but the other schools may probably end up being a better fit for me," she said. She is staying positive, but school counselor Shannon Grable said she is not the only one worried about higher education. "Senior year is full of trepidation. Where am I going to go, where am I going to be accepted and what I'm going to do? Of course, the big fear is leaving home," Grable said. Once a student is accepted, then comes the challenge of paying for it. "I've applied to Peace and Methodist. Thank God I got accepted, but financially it is a big deal," said North Brunswick senior Kimberly Ramirez. "Finances are always a problem, but of course this year it has been more so now than in the past,” said Grable. “Although, there are so many scholarship opportunities for students if they take advantage of them." To compare, for North Carolina residents, private colleges cost the most. One year's tuition and fees can be up to 25 thousand dollars. Four-year state schools cost up to five thousand a year. Community colleges have the smallest price tag; up to 1400 dollars for a year. These figures do not include the thousands of dollars it can cost for room and board. Grable added, "We have had some students that its made the difference of just a couple hundred dollars. They were not able to find that last bit of money so they ended up not going to a four-year college and staying and going to school locally at Brunswick Community College or at Cape Fear." For students who will not be accepted to a college of their choice, all is not lost. Students have the opportunity to be reconsidered by colleges with the help of the college foundation's Redirect Program. After April 1st, students can go to cfnc.org and fill out the application for colleges that still have open spaces.
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