How are Students Paying for College?

Victoria Lopez and Aniyah Chambers

When Jacob Burghardt first started applying to colleges he was convinced he would be able to go to his dream school Iowa State. But when the harsh reality of finances and student loans kicked in, he came to the realization he would have to stay in the state. ¨I don’t have the money to go out of state and it sucks but I’ve accepted that.” Many students like Jacob are forced to accept the fact that they are unable to afford their dream colleges due to the ticket price and not enough financial aid. As a result, many students make their decisions based upon how much they can receive from scholarships. 


“I plan to pay for college by taking out student loans and applying for scholarships. Scholarships are very essential because it lowers the cost of me paying out of pocket. I will also use the little amount of money that I receive from FAFSA” said Callie Ann Gayle.


Callie Ann plans to attend University Wisconsin LaCrosse to study physical therapy and later received her Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin. 


 “Applying for scholarships is my major priority after being accepted into the college of my choice,” said Wauwatosa West Senior, Callie Ann Gayle.


The graduation class of 2018 had 241 students, of those 154 went on to attend various universities/ colleges such as the University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, MATC and the other 13 attended a branch of the United States Military. 


Amongst these students, the average cost for college is about $24,914.41 for tuition alone. 


With the rising costs for college tuition, saving money to cover the cost has no longer become an option for many students. Resulting in high demand for scholarships and financial aid.  


 ̈I am planning on applying for FAFSA because I need financial aid for college so I don’t go into debt or broke, money is really important in today’s society and college is overpriced.̈  said Senior Jacob Burgardt.


 The Free Application for Federal Student Aid also known as FAFSA is an application that is completed by prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for financial aid. 


Senior Jacob Burgardt is a strong believer in applying for different scholarships and financial aid to try and help curve the rising ticket prices of colleges. 


¨Textbooks shouldn’t be a thousand dollars. College is important but some people can’t afford to go so they’re missing an important part of their education due to the cost.¨ 


Senior Lucas Metzner is an Anchorman for Wauwatosa West TW Today live streaming segments. On November 5th, 2019 Lucas was admitted into Arizona State University, a college he had been wanting to go to for over a year. 


¨I have funds saved up in order to help, but obviously that won’t be enough to cover the cost since I want to go to Arizona State University. So now I am planning on paying for college is seeing how much financial aid and scholarships I can get.” Says Lucas.


On average about 13% of students that graduate from Wauwatosa West attends a 2-year university, another 74% attend a 4-year university and the other 13% attend a trade school or work a full-time job. 


Senior Isabella Jacobson is planning on going to Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in the upcoming year. 


¨I am planning on staying in-state for a 4-year art school because I want to stay close to my family and I can’t afford to go somewhere out of state ̈  Said, Jacobson. 


Wauwatosa West Counselor Megan Christensin has a major role in guiding students through their college journey which includes applications and Federal Student Aid. 


“Scholarships and FAFSA are two very important items to fill during the college process. FAFSA and scholarships are two ways to save money and also a way to not have many student loans. Scholarships aren’t always a guarantee, research is a key component.¨


Tosa West hosts a variety of different scholarship opportunities for seniors which can be found online or in-person for those interested in finding out more. 


¨I would definitely check out the financial aid website for the school that they’re interested in.¨ Christensin said. 


Schools often have their specific scholarships on their own sites but the Wauwatosa West counseling website has links to outside scholarships that are updated monthly.  


¨You just kinda gotta filter through the ones you’re eligible for” says Megan Christensin added.