By Diana Rocco

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Wednesday was move-in day at Temple University, and the dorms were buzzing with new freshman and their parents.

“I’m kinda nervous, but really excited. I can’t wait to see the whole atmosphere,” said Marissa Newberger from York, Pennsylvania, who had yet to meet her three roommates.

Long before this day came, the enormous cost of getting here was on her mind and on the minds of many other freshmen. Four years of tuition at an in-state university can quickly add up to as much $80,000 or more.

“I was kind of shocked when I saw how much everything was, coming from public high school where everything is free. Here, I’m paying $200 just for a book,” Newberger said.

“It is very overwhelming,” said another freshman parent.

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“The interest rate is terrible. That’s what we’re worried about, and you can’t defer it. We’re paying interest right now,” said parent Janice Kruzienski.

Dr. Shaun Harper from University of Pennsylvania said the cost of higher education may leave a dark cloud looming at graduation, if not before.

“Nearly half of all students drop out, and many do so because of the stress of financial burdens,” Dr. Harper explained.

He went on to say that not having a degree just isn’t an option these days. There are 4000 colleges and universities nationwide, and Philadelphia offers students an array of choices within city limits.

“Students have enormous choices to make…There are some that are affordable, some offer more aid than others.”

Dr. Harper advised going with the places that will offer scholarship money, or applying for private scholarships and grants. He also recommended making sure to sit down with an advisor in order to get the most from your experience.

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