College costs vs. expected financial rewards in the design field are hard to gauge, but are a bit more certain then general study in the arts fields. Monetary risk is again, a personal choice that should be considered among every other factor when deciding on a design school and design career specialty.
Financial aid is a reality for almost everyone going to college today, but one should be very careful about high loan amounts after college graduation without a specific employment track. A high debt load after college seriously impedes your financial and business options, credit rating, and future enthusiasm for the field.
Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study employment (on-campus student jobs), and/or internships. National, state and personally guaranteed loans can figure into the equation, and when you leave school you have varying time periods to start paying the loan back.
If there is a clear path from your degree to an adequate loan-paying income, college costs become less of a distraction to your plan. If you're concerned about tuition, fees, and not taking on more debt than you can handle, speak frankly with the financial aid counselors at the schools you are considering. If they can help you, you're probably considering the right schools.
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