Should I borrow for my education?

I’m sure you have seen the pervasive media coverage of increasing student loan debt. At the College, we are not immune to that problem and unfortunately have examples of students who have borrowed far too much money for their education. Fortunately, those numbers are much smaller here than many other schools.

What has sometimes been lost in the debt coverage is some measure of perspective. We wish we could meet all students’ need in grant, but borrowing is a necessary fact of life for many students. As you can see in this document (pdf), the average debt for a graduating student in 2010 was $21,367. Over a 10-year repayment period, someone with that amount of loan obligation would pay about $227 per month. In comparison, consider a student signing a $22,000 5-year note for a new car loan. The monthly amount would be about $386 per month.

Let’s see where we are at the end of 10 years. Your student loan has been paid off and you are reaping a lifetime of intellectual, social, and economic benefits as a result of your education. The car…well, you may be lucky and still have it, but more likely you will be in the middle of repaying a second loan.

Always borrow wisely, but realize it will not sentence you to a lifetime of debt. See you next time.

Categories: Faculty & Staff Blogs, Other

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