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Students at University of Central Arkansas look to school for financial advice

College is a big expense and can leave students with loans and in debt, but UCA is making sure students know how to navigate those finances.

CONWAY, Arkansas — Several state attorneys general, including Arkansas' Leslie Rutledge, have filed their latest responses that argue that President Biden's student loan forgiveness program should be kept on hold.

In the meantime, parents and high schoolers have been left wondering how to pay for the high cost of higher education.

Something that Amy Baldwin said she sees often— is students and parents trying to figure out how to pay for college. 

"Students just sometimes come in, they apply, they get the bill, and then they go how do I figure this out," said Baldwin, a professor at the University of Central Arkansas.

At UCA, a semester could cost someone around $10,000. 

She and other staff from the UCA have been helping to ease that burden with three pieces of advice.

First, find out how much it will cost to go to college. This includes tuition fees, room and board, in-state or out-of-state schooling, and whether it is a public school or a private school.

Second, know what your financial aid options are. There are scholarships, loans, and grants that are available. Baldwin helps families learn how to secure those.

And finally, make a plan to pay for it all.

"There may be some costs that you have to cover. How do you go about doing that at an institution, Baldwin said

"Is it a payment plan, are you going to shake down grandma for some extra money to pay for that bill? You're also going to have books and other costs that you want to roll into that budget," she explained.

Baldwin also suggested that if families have other questions on how to pay for college they should go straight to the financial aid office where they will attend school.

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