First Generation students count college costs

Students discuss the financial benefits and drawbacks of attending Biola.


Melissa Fuentes, Freelance Writer

Biola University is one of America’s top colleges, ranking at No. 307 according to Forbes. Although Biola has a lot to offer, some may wonder if it is worth the annual cost. Most Biola students could agree one of the biggest drawbacks is in fact the school’s substantial tuition.

Net price and Sticker price

The average student loan debt for Americans who attended Universities is $39,400 and has gone up six percent from the previous year according to Student Loan Hero. Many students may ask themselves why private colleges are so expensive and wonder if it is cheaper to attend a state school. Students will always have to come to terms with the likely reality of owing money in student loan debt.

Senior psychology major Rachel Ward expressed the difficulties of being a first generation, low-income student facing a private school tuition.

“It’s definitely hard trying to pay off Biola. My mistake was not looking into the net price before applying and now I feel like I have to commit. Biola runs on its own by funds and our tuition, but it feels as if Biola doesn’t take their students into consideration sometimes and it’s quite sad,” Ward said.

Though Biola offers monthly payment plans to give students time to meet costs, Ward believes these do little to assist those who are struggling financially.

“We have this option to pay these monthly payments, but we still have to pay a fee for using the payment plans. I wish Biola gave us a break. I mean, $50,000 is a lot of money and the payment plans are supposed to help, but they can be stressful too,” Ward said.  

Biola Expenses

While some private colleges tend to offer more financial aid scholarship packages, not all students receive the same level of assistance. Junior cinema and media arts major Novel Burns struggles to get the most out of his financial aid.

“It’s like $50K or something to come here and the scholarships barely put a dent into the tuition. Students like me have to sign their life away for big loans just to attend a school that may not even be worth it,” Burns said.

Some students believe Biola offers enough help to be viable. Senior psychology major Jonna Ross also expressed concerns, but Biola was her best option comparatively.

“Biola is expensive and I’m dreading the college debt in the near future, but financially Biola is the right choice and I still get a better deal than I would have at another college. Financial aid is more generous with me at Biola,” Ross said.

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