CARBONDALE, IL — It's that time of year again. Southern Illinois University students in Carbondale are moving their things back on campus. There are a lot of factors that go into making your college decision, and many of them involve money.
As college becomes more expensive, students like Quinn Bennett are making calculated decisions about their education.
"So many people are in debt, and it's something I don't want to be in. So, i'm trying to exit college with no debt," said Bennett.
The cost of tuition and mandatory fees at SIU for all undergraduate students is $14,704. The tuition increased 2% in the fall of 2018. Freshman Ivana Pease is from St. Louis. She said SIU was the most affordable college on her list.
"I know a lot of colleges are good at giving out scholarships. Me, personally, I wanted to attend and HBCU, but they're not as abundant in terms of money that they can give out. SIU is pretty reasonable," said Pease.
Many students said the total cost of tuition and the financial aid packages available were some of the main things they considered when choosing a college.
With college tuition increases, student loans and debt continuing to be a important topics of discussion across the country, Bennett said it's more important now than ever for students to think about their financial futures.
"I do think it is a bit expensive. I know people going for $60,000 a year. It's really your choice if you want to go to that school. So, if you find that fit, if you have the money to pay for it, then go for it. But there's also state schools who will give you the same education and you won't be paying as much," Bennett.
SIU Carbonale has been working to increase student enrollment. Last December, we reported their 2019 enrollment goal was 2,200 new and transfer students. They plan to release this year's enrollment numbers on Sept. 4.