Going to ASU
Hello I am thinking of applying to ASU out of state but it cost 49k. Are there any scholarships that pay half. How do you pay for schools that were expensive. Is taking on student debt bad.
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I would first start by using Arizona State's scholarship estimator at https://scholarships.asu.edu/estimator and looking for outside scholarships after that point. ASU awards "New American University" scholarships at various different levels for out-of-state students based on their academic record, and the estimator is rather accurate. Additionally, students that are selected as National Merit Finalists (based on junior-year PSAT score + application during senior-year) receive a scholarship worth the cost of tuition, even as out-of-state students. However, without National Merit status, I believe that the highest scholarship that one is able tor receive from ASU is $15,500 - which would decrease the cost of attendance to $30,500 for out-of-state students (the National Merit Finalist scholarship decreases such cost to about $15,000/year).
If this would apply to your situation, it may also be a wise decision to use the university's Net Price Calculator (https://students.asu.edu/financialaid/net-price) to check for financial aid availability.
With regard to your question about debt: There are many factors that determine whether going into debt for college is "worth it" that you may need to discuss with your family prior to applying. A significant factor in determining whether debt is "worth it" is the likelihood that you will be able to pay it off in a timely manner - an engineering major with strong job prospects after graduation (or someone who is applying for medical school) may be able to pay off debt in a faster time frame, thereby making the debt "worth it". Meanwhile, someone who has an intended major that is less likely to lead to a high-paying job after graduation may not want to take on as much debt for the same university.
I know specifically in Colorado, there are scholarships, like the Boettcher Scholarship, which pay off all student expenses- tuition, food, board, books, etc. This scholarship is open to all seniors in Colorado, and if you do get the scholarship, it can be used for any college in Colorado. I am fairly certain many other states have similar scholarships and programs. There is also Questbridge, which is open to underprivileged and financially struggling students across the nation. Essentially, with Questbridge, you get matched to colleges based off your resume and essays, and how your rank colleges. Not everyone who participates in Questbridge get matched, but the ones who do receive a full ride to the school that they were matched to.
I like your last question: Is taking on student debt bad?
Debt, in general, is something to steer clear of, but student loans can actually help build good credit (provided that you are able to budget and pay them off). If you pay them off earlier, you can also end up paying back less, as your interest rate will not increase as much in a shorter period of time.
This obviously doesn't mean that one should take on an absurd amount of debt. My best advice would be to take on at most 15-20k debt per year, as you would be able to pay that off within the first 2-3 years of an actual job. Remember, debt for extended periods of time will cut into more of your capital.
However, with student loans and EFC (Expected Family Contribution), it is best to have a straightforward and lengthy discussion with your family, to understand the capacity that your family has, to pay for tuition, etc.
At the end of the day, taking student loans depends on whether you are willing to take a risk. If you do take the risk and pay the debt off, you will gain a bigger reward (higher credit score, possible higher starting salary). Otherwise, if you opt for a more tuition-friendly school, you will be able to save some money for your life after college.
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