WWAYTV3 reported that the national center for public policy and higher education determined 49 states, including North Carolina, flunk when it comes to college affordability. Now we're hearing from college students here, and they tend to agree with the study. UNC Wilmington freshman Taylor James agrees with a study that says college in all but one state is not affordable. She says money is tight, and she worries about getting her college debt paid off. “I have a lot of loans right now, and it's already making me very wary about the next few years if it's going to keep piling up, or how am I going to pay it off after my few years here?” California was the only state according to the study to make the grade. UNCW senior Andrew Hydrusko says he is looking at the University of California -San Diego for graduate school. “In California for example, many of the grad schools offer fellowships for their Ph.D.s. So if I go there, I can get full funding, whereas I don't see that nearly on that level here on the east coast.” A UNC system administrator says the raw data from the study actually shows North Carolina ranks fourth in affordability among the other 50 states. He also says the method of the study shows failing states in the worst light possible. Either way, college kids like Taylor James are hoping to pass the test of paying for college. “Hopefully I'll get a few grants or scholarships, and the cost will go down.” A recent study from the state science & technology institute ranks North Carolina 45th in affordability for public colleges. Community college is a cheaper alternative. Annual tuition at Cape Fear Community College is a little more than a thousand dollars. UNCW's yearly cost is around $4,500.
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