Poll says more students dropping out

A new poll is finding that more and more college students are thinking about dropping out of school, and not because of bad grades.

It might be difficult to imagine fewer students on a busy college campus like UNL, but that could soon be the case.  A new poll by the Associated Press and Viacom finds that more college students are thinking about dropping out because of the overwhelming costs.  Craig Munier works in UNL's financial aid office and says, “College costs have increased and we're probably seeing some effects of the lingering recession.  We're seeing more families wanting some help in financing a higher education than ever before.”

That's a fact also backed up by the poll's results.  The poll says nearly six out of every 10 college students rely on student loans to pay their costs.  UNL student Ted Elliott receives aid and says those costs add up.  “The interest rate is somewhere around 6.8%, so I'll be looking to get those paid out as soon as I get out of school.”

Munier says the number of applicants for financial aid at UNL has gone up in the last two years.  The cost for room, board and in-state tuition is about $16,000.

Student Jeremy Mulden receives aid and says, “I can see how some students wouldn't want to go to school, even if they are getting good grades because it's so much money right now and they'd want to wait until later on if it gets cheaper.”

University officials disagree.  Munier says it's still worth the gamble.  “Students are wise to invest now in a future that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.”