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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Financial Aid Drops, Adding to Student Debt

Students are increasingly forced to shoulder the burden of a college education's rising cost.

Senior Breond Durr is one semester away from graduating - but last week, he found out his financial aid was suspended.

"I could end up out of USC," Durr said. "Getting kicked out of the university with $30,000 in debt from this semester alone."

It's a fate shared by an increasing number of students, who are expected to foot more of the tuition bill as financial aid declines.

The average cost of private universities has increased by $1,105, with students paying $530 of the increase.

Cal State's Vice President of Admissions Lisa Chavez said the university hosts outreach programs to inform students about scholarship opportunities and transfer programs - both ways of helping students afford a college education's high price tag.

But to students like Durr, the challenges are deeper and more pervasive.

"You're sold this dream that, you know, you're going to come here and get a better job," Durr said. "You come here and it's not an equal distribution...It depends on where you come from, whether or not you can afford this school."

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