Some student-loan lenders offer a discount on the interest rate if you agree to set up your payments to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account each month. You can make the payments through the student-loan website, your student account, or through the lender. The cost of automatic loans can vary, specially if it’s a masters student loan, but you can usually save up to $200 a month if you use the program, said Richard Carranza, a spokesman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency.
In addition, if you’re a federal student, you can get a federal direct-deposit subsidy that can cut the cost of college and help you pay down your student debt.
The average annual price tag for a four-year public college or university in the United States is $27,100, according to the College Board, a nonprofit group that analyzes data on higher education. The average annual cost for a private university was $18,931 in the fall of 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
That’s far higher than the national average for an undergraduate degree at $10,400. Some private colleges are even more expensive than that, with some costing $30,000 or more per year. But with a high average cost and a variety of programs, it’s easy to see why students are choosing to go to college here.
But when it comes to a degree in the humanities, many of the state’s colleges and universities may have a bit more to learn.
In the fall of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced new rules aimed at requiring colleges to take more “comprehensive” measurements of the diversity of students who enroll.
That kind of measure is necessary because, according to the National Association of Black Journalists, black students make up only 12 percent of college enrollments in the United States. Meanwhile, they represent about 40 percent of those who study business, science and technology.
This disparity doesn’t just matter to black students and their parents. Some black leaders worry that this failure to invest in black talent will be a drag on the nation’s economic growth for generations.
“I am not against any education system,” says James Bell, president of the National Urban League. “I’m against any system where a person of color has to compete against people of color to make it. This is a big challenge, and we have to address it.”
When black and Hispanic enrollment in the United States is rising, black and Hispanic colleges have seen the share of minority students at their institutions increase by 3.6 percentage points, while the share of white students decreased. The average increase for black and Hispanic colleges with the most minority students was 12.4 percentage points, while the average decrease was 13.4 percentage points for white colleges.