Can college kids cope with the cost of tuition? Students themselves aren't so sure, a new poll finds.

High school seniors anxious about college costs

By: Abby Hayes, March 1, 2016

With spring approaching, summer vacation isn't far behind, "the most wonderful time of year," for students and teachers alike. The experience will be a bit different for high school seniors, however, figuring out what they'll major in as newly minted college freshmen.

But there's something much more fundamental to university life that has the college crew concerned: How they'll be able to pay for everything.

Roughly 50 percent of soon-to-be college freshmen say they're worried about financing tuition, according to a new survey commissioned by the National Honor Societies.

"40 percent hope to pay for college through a scholarship."

Many college-seeking seniors scholarship focused
While student loan estimates are helpful, a substantial portion of high school seniors are looking for alternative methods. For instance, close to 40 percent said they'd like to apply for scholarships. Of this percentage, approximately 1 in 3 said they first needed to learn more information.

Jonathan Mathis, director of the National Honor Societies, indicated that when high school seniors estimate college loan debt, it can seem overwhelming.

"However, the right resources, expert advice and information can help alleviate many of these concerns," Mathis explained.

He added that his organization has recently launched a campaign, called "Honor Your Future Now," that parents and aspiring college graduates should take full advantage of.

"[Students'] understanding all their financial options and taking action now is a critical part of supporting the future of their academic and personal journeys," Mathis said.

Poll: Degree nice, but not necessary
A college degree can dramatically increase a student's ability to land a job. Employers often require at least a Bachelor's, and some a more advanced degree. Depending on the economy, it can take months or years to be extended a job offer.

"Most Americans don't think college is necessary to achieve success."

While college education may be worthwhile, it's not always necessary, most Americans say. At 52 percent, a majority of respondents in a recent poll by the National Journal think young people need to have a four-year degree to be successful. This sentiment was shared both by people with a degree and without.

Nor is personal debt a necessary component of achieving the American dream. Slightly more than one-third of participants said personal debt for college, homeownership or starting a business enabled people to reach the American ideal. In fact, 60 percent said it did the opposite by making harder.