Possible Interest Hike on College Student Loans Spurs Further Interest in Online Schools among Graduating High School Seniors

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With speculation that interest rates on new college student loans could jump from 3.4% to 6.8%, online schools are able to offer high school graduates affordable education alternatives that won’t burden the family budget. Schools like Ashworth College can deliver accredited career training diploma programs, online certificate programs and online college degree programs often as much as 50% less than the cost of their brick and mortar counter parts.

Ashworth College

Celebrating 25 Years of Changing Lives

Students and their parents appreciate that they don’t need to worry about a loan looming four years down the road because they will graduate without any student loan debt.

Across the country the high school graduating class of 2012 may be more in tune to the state of the economy than ever before as graduates and parents keep a close eye on the continuing rise of college tuition and its influence on the college or university enrollment decision.

Over the last two decades, the cost of attending college has grown more rapidly than inflation, and as a result, the share of family income needed to pay for tuition and college expenses has increased. To make matters more disconcerting, there is speculation that the interest rate on the estimated 7.4 million new unsubsidized student loans this year will jump from 3.4% to 6.8% this summer.

For many families, student loans have been the go-to resource illustrated by the fact that one-third of all students have accumulated $20,000 or more in student loan debt by the time they are ready to graduate. According to thefinancialtimes.com, this debt is to hit the $1 trillion later this year and surpass credit cards as the second-largest category of consumer debt.

One channel of higher education that continues to be affordable is online learning. Online schools like Ashworth College continue to offer nationally accredited career training diploma programs, online certificate programs and online college degree programs with tuition as much as 50% less the cost of their brick and mortar counter parts, making it possible to earn a quality college education without spending a lot of money.

"Under $100 per credit hour, tuition at Ashworth College is considerably less than many four-year institutions which makes online learning an incredible value,” said Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Ashworth’s Chief Education Officer. “We receive calls daily from prospective students who have realized that online learning is a viable and affordable way to get the higher education they need to be competitive.”

Dr. Gargiulo went on to explain that because there is no added cost for textbooks or other expenses typically associated with heading off to college -- room and board, childcare and transportation costs -- expenses above and beyond tuition are reduced or non-existent, which, depending on location, could translate to up to $13,000 in additional savings (CollegeBoard).

“There are many reasons why a high school graduate should consider online learning including the fact that an institution like Ashworth College offers and accredited education with low, interest-free, pay-as-you-go payment plans,” she said. “Students and their parents appreciate that they don’t need to worry about a loan looming four years down the road because they will graduate without any student loan debt.”

About Ashworth College
Celebrating 25 years of Educating Minds and Changing Lives, leading online school, Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence by offering students worldwide an extensive range of online college degrees, online certificate programs and online high school diploma options that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth offers military education as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.

Headquartered in Peachtree Corners, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Ashworth is parent to James Madison High School which is accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. It also provides career training and vocational programs in the fields of health, business, technology, education, and skilled trades through PCDI Canada, New York Institute of Photography and Sheffield School of Design.

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Richard Orr
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