For many it's a catch 22: a college degree could help you land a job in a rough economy. But first you've got to come up with the cash to pay for school.
A lot of public and private schools in Texas will raise tuition this fall. Add the recent changes to federal student loans, and trying to pay for college can be overwhelming.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, In the 2007-2008 school year, two-thirds of all undergrads received some sort of financial aid and nearly 50 percent got federal financial aid.
McLennan Community College Director of Financial Aid James Kubacak says, "We know that the recession is affecting students. We've seen more of what we call 'special conditions' applications this year than I've seen in many, many years."
If you need to borrow money for school you'll now have to go through the Government.
A new law kicked private banks out of the student loan business.
Jackie Diaz with Baylor University's Student Financial Services says, "The biggest advantage for students is they don't have to go through that loan selection process."
The new law also means more families will qualify for Federal Pell Grants which don't have to be paid back.
So how much money can you get?
Fill out the "Free Application for Student Aid" as soon as possible to find out.
Use the Web to search for outside scholarships and grant money and even ask around town.
"A lot of times parents and students don't take full advantage of their community scholarships," says Diaz.