Philadelphia (CBS) – The United States ranks 14thin the world of those who have college degrees. Ask young people why they don’t plan on college and they’ll say they can’t afford it. For many it seems hopeless; but there are sources of funding for any eligible student.

According to an article in the International Herald Tribune, four year public universities increased tuition almost 8% this year and private nonprofit colleges and universities have raised tuition an average of 4.5%.

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But there is good news. There has been a huge increase in assistance from the government. This past year, students got $28 billion in Pell grants, ten billion more than the year before. This year’s maximum award is $5,550 and Pell grants do not have to be paid back.

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Colleges also award grants for need and achievement; scholarship aid and loans—federal Stafford and Perkins loans as well as private loans generally complete the financial picture.

Those hoping to enroll in college next fall should be working on applications now. Simply put—applications in by Thanksgiving and financial aid forms by Valentine’s Day.

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Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio