Students don’t start to worry about loans until graduation time
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 13:05
Federal loans may bring the benefit of a college learning experience, but for graduating students, the debt that comes along is now a frightening reality.
According to 2011-2012 federal loan statistics, a total of $55,485,200 has been taken out at Loyola University alone. This is the equivalent to each student taking out around $15,000.
Tuition costs are rising each year, according to Loyola University records, making loans look more appealing. Loans are becoming a necessity for some students to attend college and combat the rising tuition prices.
The annual tuition costs for Loyola University for the 2011- 2012 school year are at $33,552 for commuters, who do not have to pay for housing or meal plans. Residential students, who do pay for these other properties, face $44,362 in annual fees, according to the Office of Student Finance records. In the coming 2012- 2013 school year, those numbers will increase by around $2,000. Financial aid is necessary for students who can’t pay these figures out of pocket.
It seems as though it is becoming imperative for students to take out some sort of loan in order to gain a desired college education. Even if a student had been offered a large amount of financial aid at one university, if that student sees better opportunity elsewhere, they will take out loans. Karen Shachat, political consultant and mother of two, says her children took out loans in order to attend universities that offer programs better suited toward their desired career paths.
“My children had the option
of going to LSU, where they could’ve gotten in with TOPS [Taylor Opportunity Program for Students], probably gone to school virtually free, or maybe for like a couple thousand dollars a year,” said Shachat. “Basically the decision was, you know, do you go to school for free, basically, and get a college degree, or do you invest this money in loans and roll the dice, that the pay- off down the road will be more success in your career and better networking,” Shachat said in relation to her daughter choosing to take out loans to attend Wesleyan University for their film program.
The students who do take out loans should know what they are getting themselves in to, said Cathy Simoneaux, director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Although most of the worrying doesn’t happen until graduation draws close, students should be well aware that they do have time to pay the loans off, and they are not left alone in the dark.
“When people are about to graduate, then they’re more worried about it. As long as you borrow responsibly, then you have up to 25 years to repay the loans, you have public service loan forgiveness programs, all sorts of ways to help make it easier for you to repay the debt, but loans come with private schools,” Simoneaux said.
Loans are helpful to students who may never have been able to afford a private college education, so there are its definite benefits. Upon graduation, however, students face losing portions of their paychecks to the government in order to pay off their debt.
Connor McCullar can be reached at email@example.com