I come from a middle class family, the oldest of three children. My parents were able to save some money for me for college, but not too much. I choose to attend Northeastern University (NEU) in Boston, MA, a large, private institution, which costs (at baseline) $22,310 per semester, not including housing and other fees. I received some financial aid, a few scholarships, but not enough to cover the cost without taking out a private loan. Although my parents help me when they can, it's up to me to pay for my education. It was a tough call: do I simply accept that I will drown in debt? Or do I opt out, and attend community college at home. I decided to go for it. I love living in Boston. One of the ways in which I have cut my college costs was applying to be a Resident Assistant. At NEU, the RA gig is competitive. And a fair amount of work. I was waitlisted for the fall semester of my second year, but pulled off in the spring. Both housing on-campus and off, in the middle of Boston, is not cheap, so having free room and board has been a huge help. I like being an RA, and although it can get overwhelming, I'm getting a lot of great experience in addition to helping reduce the financial burden of going to school at NEU. It can be rewarding, and also challenging. I would recommend applying to the RA position at your school if you can!