How to Handle the Recession

Money's tight everywhere, but there is some new help for paying off loans and tuition.

By + More

The recession is causing many colleges to raise prices, cut scholarships, eliminate services, lay off professors, and get rid of sports teams; it even forced Wofford College President Benjamin Dunlap to stop giving away free Dove Bar ice cream treats at the Spartanburg, S.C., football team's home games.

But as bad as things are for people who are trying to go to college, they're worse for those who don't try. In early 2009, the unemployment rate for those who finished their education with only a high school diploma hovered at 8 percent. It's about 6 percent for those who got at least a little higher education. It's less than 4 percent for those who got a degree.

Better yet, a growing number of colleges and government agencies are rushing to help those whose tuition funds have been wiped out by the downturns in the job and investment markets.

The federal government is poised to add several hundred dollars to next year's Pell grants for low-income students. And Uncle Sam also has made it much easier for students to pay off their federal loans. A growing number of schools are offering tuition breaks for the unemployed.

So instead of giving up college dreams, check out U.S. News's guide to how the recession is affecting colleges and the new strategies that will help students get the education that can help them succeed.