Nation's economic woes affecting colleges

By Dan Wells - bio | email

The nation's economic troubles have hit colleges and universities, and some Tri-state schools are feeling it more than others.

Investors aren't the only people on the edge of their seats during this financial meltdown. The current state of the market is also affecting students trying to get college loans.

"It has become more difficult especially over the last six months to a year, so students are taking a serious look at how much schools cost," said Larry Travis with Cincinnati Christian University.

A new 'trickle-down' trend has students who might usually choose more expensive schools opting for more affordable ones.

"We're getting reports that students are having a hard time getting their student loads, and information they are having a hard time paying their bills," said Greg Hand with the University of Cincinnati. "So far, that really hasn't played out in terms of enrollment."

Public universities around the country expect to see less state funding in the year to come. And for private universities, who depend on tuition dollars and endowments, officials say it's been tough.

"Our endowment is down which is just like everyone else endowment but we have been working through our budget and reviewing it to see where we can do any cost savings," said Debora Del Valle with Xavier University.

At Cincinnati Christian University, they are modifying their tuition program to allow more students to take more credits here for free.

CCU is also capping tuition rates for graduate students and freezing room and board rates for the 2009-10 school year.

And at Xavier, they're maintaining several different types of financial assistance.

"So when the students come back next week they are not going to see anything different we are not making cuts in financial aid or programs or anything like that," said Del Valle. "But we are looking towards the future because we just don't know what's going to happen. I don't think anyone does."

School officials say they're committed to helping students get by, while they also try to hold up their own end.