Economic reality: Paying for college

From the Register-Mail:

The tough economy is hitting everyone hard, including families figuring out ways to pay for college. As a result, some officials estimate large increases in the number of financial aid applications filed for next school year.

U.S. News & World Report says that, in 2008, about 1.4 million more students filled out the Federal Application for Free Student Aid, an increase of about 10.4 percent over 2007. With layoffs increasing and stocks tumbling, that number may skyrocket in 2009….

Ann Brill, director of financial aid at Knox, says that families who have had significant changes in their circumstances such as job loss can apply for special considerations with individual institutions.

Colleges “will address special circumstances that might occur in a family such as a job loss, exorbitant medical and dental expenses that were not covered by insurance. We will absolutely consider those if a family were to contact us,” she said. “It’s definitely something that we see frequently throughout the year.”