$74 Billion Available in Student Financial Aid

While a college education is a major investment for many college-bound students and their families, the cost of paying for college may be less than they think.

"There is an opportunity for everyone to go to college-but the earlier you plan, the more options you have," says Kathleen Brouder, the College Board's executive director of Guidance Services. Two new books from the College Board provide important information on ways to meet college costs at over 2,700 four-year and two-year schools, including comprehensive facts about a record amount of financial aid available to students.

The College Board College Cost & Financial Aid Handbook 2002 is considered the best resource available to arrive at the true cost of attending college-which is "cost" minus "financial aid." The College Board Scholarship Handbook 2002 provides additional information on 2,300 scholarships, internships and loans for undergraduates.

Most financial aid, which includes help for meeting the costs of tuition, fees, room and board, books, personal expenses and transportation, is awarded on the basis of need. The new College Board Handbooks have been called essential resources of information for students and families who want to take an active part in understanding what college really costs and in seeking out and securing financial aid.

A record $74 billion was available in student financial aid in 2000-2001, according to two recently released studies by the College Board-an increase of over seven percent over the preceding year. While it's true that the costs of college have been rising at a rate greater than the cost of living, almost 70 percent of students attending four-year institutions pay less than $8,000 a year for college tuition and fees, while only six percent pay more than $24,000. That's because student financial aid programs help keep down the "sticker price" of a college education.

For information on the College Board and its year 2002 Handbooks, visit www.collegeboard.com.

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