Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
If you are moving into freshmen dorms this weekend or beginning your first semester after transfering from community college, it's likely you know what FAFSA or FFEL mean. By now, you've probably decided between a subsidized or unsubsidized loan. Or maybe you didn't have to think about tedious financial aid paperwork because your parents made sure the tuition check went out early to avoid the late fees. Whatever method you are using to pay for higher education, how are you making your decision? Sallie Mae and Gallup surveyed 1,400 undergraduate students and parents in a study called "How America Pays for College." Here's what they found: the majority of families ruled out a school that was too expensive. But, 40% of families did not limit their search based on cost. Today we ask, what was important to you in making your decision? What overules the cost of tuition? The school's prestige? Location? Courses? And if you are a parent — what will or won't you sacrifice to pay for your child's college education?