Looking for PA scholarships for college? Here’s how to start your search.

The price of college has swelled over the past 30 years by more than 200%. To pay for higher education, students across the nation have taken on a staggering $1.7 trillion in student debt. But there are ways to chip away at the cost. State and local grants can help students pay at least a portion of school — including costs like housing and transit, in some cases. Some programs are more generally open to students in the Pittsburgh region or across Pennsylvania — some based on identity, grades and community work, others prioritizing lower income applicants.

Student loans bring both opportunity and debt. Here’s what to consider before applying.

In the past 30 years, tuition for one year at a public university increased by more than 200%. As rising expenses for college and rent outpace wages, more than 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt totaling $1.7 trillion. More than 2.1 million Pennsylvanians have unpaid student loans, totaling $71.5 billion, and the average cost for in-state college tuition in Pennsylvania for the 2019-2020 school year was $23,167.