From tuition too room and board to books, college expenses are constantly a burden for students. But this weeks anonymous donation of $10 million to MSU may help to soften the blow.
"It's really extraordinary timing," said MSU president Lou Anna Simon. "We're at a point where demands for financial aid are at an all-time high."
The university spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on financial aid for students. That's why MSU leaders don't want to spend all the money at once.
"We're going to try to extend our reach in many ways...not only for this year, but in the future."
And that means most or all of that gift could wind up in MSU's endowment -- earning interest or being invested.
"We want to make sure that we use this money in a way that has a maximum impact."
But students are in need now. Financial aid given out by MSU is expected to hit a record level next year -- increasing 5 to 15% from this year. That leaves many scratching their heads trying to find a way to strike a balance.
"We have both an obligation to the current students, but we also have an obligation to make sure MSU is there and accessible for future students," said Robert Groves, Vice President of University Advancement.
Current students are sure to be scrambling for more help -- especially with room and board being hiked more than 5%. That means students will pay hundreds more per year to eat and live on campus.
"These are challenging times for the students, challenging times for the university, challenging times for the state budget. We know we're going to have some immediate needs."