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Students rethink college plans

By Crissinda Ponder · Bankrate.com
Monday, August 12, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

The cost of attending college continues to soar, and students are making adjustments to their degree-seeking strategies.

Just weeks ago, before new legislation was enacted to tie federal student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note, rates doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and students everywhere were reconsidering their collegiate futures.

Eighteen percent of students were planning to leave college temporarily or permanently, and more than 48 percent of incoming college freshmen were changing their majors and career choices, according to the latest Consumer Savings and Debt Report by SaveUp, an online financial rewards program for saving and paying down debt.

Of the more than 800 students that SaveUp surveyed, 39 percent didn't have a plan to raise additional funds either because they were going to fine-tune their finances or were hopeful interest rates would return back to normal.

Several students were finding ways to increase their income -- more than 16 percent planned to find a job or work more hours. Another 6 percent were seeking private loans.

"Students definitely need to make sure they put a lot of planning into the loans they take," says Priya Haji, SaveUp's co-founder and CEO.

To cope with the rising costs of college, Haji recommends that students look at the bigger picture -- not just tuition.

"Another cost a lot of students don't think about is the cost of living," adding that it should be factored into the college planning process.

Now that a new student loan bill is in place, it's unclear how it would have affected SaveUp's report, had they conducted the survey again.

What is your family doing to cut college costs this semester?

Follow me on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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