WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – As college tuition continues to rise, more students are receiving federal financial help, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The report indicates that 71 percent of college students in the U.S. receive financial aid. The number is almost as high at UNCW, where officials report that 68 percent of students are awarded aid.
Financial aid includes loans, grants and work-study programs.
Students use the money not only to pay for classes but also to cover a wide range of university fees.
Athletics fees total nearly $650, up $100 from last year.
Students pay another $470 for recreation and intramurals. Those fees help cover the debt on the recent $35 million expansion to the Student Recreation Center.
The university also charges for services such as the Seahawk newspaper, student health and the campus shuttle.
The Beach Blast, an annual party at Wrightsville Beach, is partially funded by student fees, according to Janine Iamunno, UNCW executive director of university relations.
Brett Pinniz, UNCW student body vice president, says he understands concerns about fees, but believes they serve a purpose.
"If we are spending the money in ways that aren't relatable back to the students then it needs to be examined, but as long as we're putting the money from the fees back into the student's life and enhancing the overall quality, I think the fees are a quality way to do it," he said.
President Obama has said taxpayers can't keep subsidizing higher costs for higher education.
He spotlighted the issue in his last State of the Union and he kicks off a bus tour later this week to continue making his case.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.
322 Shipyard Boulevard