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Michele Mattera High school: Smithtown High School - (Credit: Rachel Chinapen)

Michele Mattera

High school: Smithtown High School - West Campus
College: Dowling College
Average annual tuition and fees: $25,908
Paying for college: Academic scholarship


(June 21, 2012)

How 21 grads will pay for college

Higher education is more expensive than ever. Student loans now total more than $1 trillion in the United States, exceeding the amount of credit card debit held by Americans. We asked the Class of 2012 how they intend to pay for their college education.

By Jacqueline Birzon, Marissa Cetin, Rachel Chinapen and Herman Wong.

Tell us how you are planning on paying for college. Submit your photos here or to us on Twitter or Facebook.

Tuition and fees are provided by the National Center for Education Statistics for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Alexa Salazar High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong)

Alexa Salazar

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Cornell University
Average annual tuition and fees: $41,541
Paying for college: School grants and $10,000 in loans


(June 24, 2012)

Michele Mattera High school: Smithtown High School -
(Credit: Rachel Chinapen)

Michele Mattera

High school: Smithtown High School - West Campus
College: Dowling College
Average annual tuition and fees: $25,908
Paying for college: Academic scholarship


(June 21, 2012)

Christina Gallego High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Christina Gallego

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Nassau Community College for two years then applying to Hofstra University
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,495
Paying for college: Scholarship and financial aid


(June 24, 2012)

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Cody Bonora High School: Freeport High School College:
(Credit: Marissa Cetin)

Cody Bonora

High School: Freeport High School
College: Nassau Community College, graphic design
Average annual tuition: $4,495
Paying for college: Firefighter grant, only needs to purchase books


(June 27, 2012)

Celena Salavarria High school: Brentwood High School College:
(Credit: Jacqueline Birzon)

Celena Salavarria

High school: Brentwood High School
College: Suffolk County Community College
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,830
Paying for college: By working


(June 23, 2012)

Bridget Gilbert High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Bridget Gilbert

High school: Long Beach High School
College: University of Michigan
Average annual tuition and fees: $37,782 out-of-state, with room and board at $11,522
Paying for college: Parents


(June 24, 2012)

Michelle Mandler High school: Smithtown High School -
(Credit: Rachel Chinapen)

Michelle Mandler

High school: Smithtown High School - West Campus
College: Binghamton University
Average annual tuition: $7,216
Paying for college: Loans and her parents


(June 21, 2012)

Diony Moran High School: Freeport High School College:
(Credit: Marissa Cetin)

Diony Moran

High School: Freeport High School
College: LIU Post (in Brookville), accounting
Average annual tuition and fees: $31,646
Paying for college: His dad is an employee of the university and Moran will only pay for housing.


(June 27, 2012)

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Adam Goldenberg High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Adam Goldenberg

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Wagner College, theater
Average annual tuition and fees: $35,820
Paying for college: A $23,000 scholarship, $10,000 in loans and parents


(June 24, 2012)

Nicholas Lao High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Nicholas Lao

High school: Long Beach High School
College: SUNY Maritime College, engineering
Average annual tuition and fees: $6,457
Paying for college: Money set aside by his father


(June 24, 2012)

Joel Nunez High school: Brentwood High School College:
(Credit: Jacqueline Birzon)

Joel Nunez

High school: Brentwood High School
College: Suffolk County Community College
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,830
Paying for college: Parents and a job


(June 23, 2012)

Raymond Delarosa High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Raymond Delarosa

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Nassau Community College for two years, then applying to Florida International University
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,495
Paying for college: Grants covering full tuition


(June 24, 2012)

Natalia Beltre High School: Freeport High School College:
(Credit: Marissa Cetin)

Natalia Beltre

High School: Freeport High School
College: Binghamton University, philosophy, politics and law
Average annual tuition and fees: $7,216
Paying for college: Financial aid, about $11,000 in loans, some scholarship money and a job


(June 27, 2012)

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Amairanis Davila High school: Brentwood High School College:
(Credit: Jacqueline Birzon)

Amairanis Davila

High school: Brentwood High School
College: Suffolk County Community College
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,830
Paying for college: $3,000-$5,000 in financial aid, loans and a job


(June 23, 2012)

Alana Costello High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong )

Alana Costello

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Purchase College, creative writing
Average annual tuition and fees: $6,829 in-state
Paying for college: Child support saved by her father, financial aid and insurance money from an accident


(June 24, 2012)

Oral Allen High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong)

Oral Allen

High school: Long Beach High School
College: College of Mount Saint Vincent College
Average annual tuition and fees: $27,810
Paying for college: Athletic scholarship for wrestling and loans


(June 24, 2012)

Zack Nelson High School: Freeport High School College:
(Credit: Marissa Cetin)

Zack Nelson

High School: Freeport High School
College: SUNY Fredonia, music education and trombone
Average annual tuition and fees: $6,688 in-state
Paying for college: Loans, financial aid, scholarships, parental aid and a job


(June 27, 2012)

Stephania Flores High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong)

Stephania Flores

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Nassau Community College then applying to the University at Albany or Buffalo, studying speech pathology
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,495
Paying for college: Grants, parents and a job


(June 24, 2012)

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Rudy Cruz High school: Long Beach High School
(Credit: Herman Wong)

Rudy Cruz

High school: Long Beach High School
College: Trade school in Westbury
Paying for college: $20,000 a year scholarship for two years


(June 24, 2012)

Leslie Paskoff High school: Brentwood High School College:
(Credit: Jacqueline Birzon)

Leslie Paskoff

High school: Brentwood High School
College: Suffolk County Community College
Average annual tuition and fees: $4,830 in-state, not including room and board
Paying for college: Parents


(June 23, 2012)

Ashley Walsh High school: Brentwood High School College:
(Credit: Jacqueline Birzon)

Ashley Walsh

High school: Brentwood High School
College: Hartwick College
Average annual tuition and fees: $36,040, with including room and board at $10,325
Paying for college: By working


(June 23, 2012)

Tell us how you are planning on paying
(Credit: Michael Cusanelli)

Tell us how you are planning on paying for college. Submit your photos here or to us on Twitter or Facebook.

(June 16, 2012)

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