COLLEGE COSTS: Senior says pick school with budget in mind - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

COLLEGE COSTS: Senior says pick school with budget in mind

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Worried about paying back your college loan and sinking in debt? You're not alone -- and that's why one high school senior is warning students to carefully consider their budgets when selecting a school.

The Princeton Review recently revealed a surprising shift in what high school students worry about most when it comes to college. Simply put, it's "hopeless debt" -- and that's a big change from years past when students worried about getting into their dream school.

With just two months left of high school, Elliot Gaddis is focusing on the future. That means finding out where he'll go to school and how he'll pay for it.

"It's definitely something you think about," he said. "Sometimes, when you are trying to sleep at night, it pops into my head: 'Am I going to be in debt until I'm like, 50, trying to pay off college?'"

Gaddis said he started wrestling with that question after doing a project on the cost of college.

"I think it's just something that, now it's part of my generation," he said. "When it comes to picking a college, you have to think about it."

Emily Mattran is the career resource manager at Chanhassen High School, and she said while there are an unlimited number of opportunities for her students, she is taking a different approach to counseling them than she did when she started 13 years ago.

"It's becoming more and more a key piece of the conversation of 'where am I going to school?'" she explained. "Right from the get-go, the discussion of cost needs to be in there, whether it's a dream school or another school."

Yet, Mattran admits she's seeing more and more children stop applying to particular schools simply because of cost and she hopes her students will continue to dream big.

"We still think it's better to have tried and say, 'No, that's not going to work,' than have some regret when you go somewhere and say, 'I really wish,' you know?" she said.

Even so, Mattran is counseling students to consider how much the monthly loan repayments will be with the added factors of rent, food, and car bills.

As for Elliot, his dream school was once University of California Berkley, but he never applied, partially due to the cost.

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