College costs remain high, but financial resources are available

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - While Emma Cate Jernigan is still a junior in high school, she’s already on the search for her dream college. She wants to manage collections of fine art as a curator.

“So I’m thinking about going under an art history major,” she said. “So that’s what I’m mainly looking out for here.”

The student was one in a crowd of people at the Junior League of Montgomery College and Career Night. High school juniors and seniors learned about educational opportunities, as well as financial assistance.

Emma’s mother, Jodie Jernigan, has three daughters. Her oldest went to college years ago.

“School is definitely going up as far as price, and scholarships are definitely something we’re going to be looking into,” Jodie Jernigan said.

While some borrowers could receive up to $20,000 in student debt forgiveness from the federal government, higher education remains expensive in the U.S.

In fact, the average annual cost for a four-year college is 37 times higher than in the early 1960s, according to the Education Data Initiative. It has gone up over 4.6% each year from 2010 to 2020.

To help those in need, the Junior League of Montgomery is offering additional resources online.

“We have compiled a list of scholarship opportunities for families,” President Ashley White said. “And we actually offer it digitally this year. This is our first year we’re going to offer it online.”

“Those are things that I want my kids to experience too. Just what college is supposed to be about, the learning, but the making great friendships and being safe,” Jodie Jernigan said.

Parents of current college students interested in federal student loan forgiveness can expect applications to be posted around early October.

While those federal applications are not currently out, parents can sign up to receive a notification from the Department of Education when they are posted.

Sign up for the WSFA Newsletter and get the latest local news and breaking alerts in your email!