The Main Stream

Aug 3, 2013 9:00 PM by Erika Flores

Center helps students find money to pay for college

TUCSON-As college students prepare to go back to school they're spending at least a thousand dollars on books and supplies, and that doesn't count what they'll spend on tuition, room, and board.

Saturday nine school districts got together in support of the Regional College Access Center to tackle that issue and help improve education opportunities for high school graduates.

For some high school students the cost of college can discourage them from seeking higher education, but the Regional College Access Center is providing hope.

The minimum cost at the University of Arizona is over 11 thousand dollars a year.

The max is over 25 thousand dollars, according to the university's website.

"It's really expensive," said Gina Valencia.

And that's with in-state-tuition.

Out-of-state would rack up the total cost per year to over 41 thousand dollars.

Valencia is a Sunnyside High School graduate.

She's going to UA in the Fall to stay closer to home and save money.

"I'll be living at home and commuting to school," said Valencia.

She said she applied for grants with her father's income information but didn't qualify.

"Even though he might have a good economic standing on paper, it's not where I can afford the 11 thousand to attend the university," said Valencia.

Valencia and her family were disappointed.

"That was hard," she said.

But this political science major didn't give up.

She got help from Metropolitan Education Commission's Regional College Access Center.

"If it hadn't been for that I probably would have had no idea," said Valencia.

According to the Pew Research Center 75 percent of public say college is too expensive for most Americans to afford.

But the Regional College Access Center provides information on scholarships to make college affordable.

Valencia said thanks to its resources.

She has about 15 thousand dollars in scholarships for her freshman year.

"First generation students they don't know how to apply what the process is like. Ya, there's help, but it's just a new situation," said Valencia.

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