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The National Center for Education Statistics says college tuition and fees over the past 22 years have tripled.
Now, students are making their decision on where to go to college more on cost instead of credentials.
KSMU's Erika Brame has more.
With the current economic situation students are narrowing down their choices of schools and seeking more money to pay for it.
Reva Brown is the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Drury University.
She says the school is seeing an increase in students applying for loans.
"But of those students that have applied and have been admitted I am seeing more loan applicants than probably prior years."
Families often have to rely on federal loans, which come through FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Even with federal loans, students still have to pay back the money and the loans don't always cover the entire cost of tuition.
More students are opting for community colleges, which take A Plus Program students.
Susan Jennings is a Springfield mom facing college tuition fees this fall.
Her son Austin is going to a community college this fall because other schools were not affordable.
"As far as the scholarships go. The only reason he is going to OTC now is because he received the A Plus Program and he got two full years free."
She says her son received two other scholarships which will help him save money to attend Missouri State University once he graduates from OTC.
For KSMU News I'm Erika Brame.