Student Loan Debt. It’s a hot topic, for very good reasons. The average student loan debt is around 20,000 dollars (or slightly higher than that) for just a BA.
I have to admit, I was student debt free until my fourth year of college. Then I needed a car. We needed a few other things. I said what the hell, and took out the full amount offered for that year, and then my fifth year I lost my KEES money, and needed to make up for it. I took it out again. Then I went and got a Masters degree.
So, I have quite a bit. And quite a bit of it was unnecessary. Looking back, it makes me wince. I see students using it go out and buy big screened tvs, or expensive phones, or just blowing it all semester. It hurts to see it. I know better now. Should have known better than. It is so easy, however, to be like “give me the money!” Also, the loan counseling they do is easy to breeze through. You don’t have to think much on it. Don’t have to ponder the interest it will gather as well.
The cost of going to school is also quickly rising. I live in KY, and we just had a 4.5% DECREASE to the budgets. I’m hoping to get a position in higher education and my chances of that in KY at a public university were probably just thrown out the window. Things will be being cut.
Some of the reasons our tuition is so high is insane. There are schools with lazy rivers, for Pete’s sake. So I understand the qualms about making higher education free. Perhaps we should at least get the education free, and have to pay for the amenities. It might fix a few things.
But the point here is, be careful in what you borrow – and not only student loans. I am the first to say that some student loan is fine – it’s worth it. But be careful how much, and truly know what you are borrowing, signing up for, and what you are doing. Afford private student loans at pretty much any cost. Only do the government ones when you have to.
Look for scholarships as well. They are everywhere, for all ages and people and reasons. I tell my juniors and seniors this often. Apply to EVERYTHING. You never know, you may be the only one. And your university and department will have their own as well. Free money is great.