Cost of college

FARGO, ND. (Valley News Live) - A lot goes into college.

At North Dakota State University in Fargo, a student living on campus pays over $8,000 for one semester. This doesn't include various other charges like parking or books.

Jeff Jacobs, NDSU Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, says living off of campus might not offer much relief.

"By the time they pay for their cable TV and all of their other utilities, it's pretty close as far as what they are paying out of pocket between living off campus and living on campus," Jacobs said.

So the cost will add up no matter where you spend your college years, but he does say studies show students perform better academically when they live on campus. This could lead to scholarships.

Most scholarships require a 3.5 GPA, and they can be used to help pay for college related expenses.

Jacobs says scholarships can really make a difference when it comes to saving the bank account with some offering more than $5,000.

He says preparation is key, and the earlier students and their families start saving and applying for scholarships, the better off they will be.

"Those who are just walking in and don't have any savings, there aren’t a lot of programs available if they haven't applied for scholarships and applied for grants," Jacobs said.

He also says the Bank of North Dakota offers programs to help make college more affordable.

Jacobs says students should speak with financial aid to learn their options when it comes to the cost of college.