Education can prove costly


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When music education student Ray Freire A’12 graduated, finding a job was not his biggest concern. By the end of his senior year, he had approximately $33,000 in student loan debt.

“My after-college plan is to become a music teacher and find a good payment plan for my debt,” Friere said.

Freire’s financial concerns are not uncommon. Loyola’s Office of Student Finance reports that for the 2012-13 school year, a full-time student will have to pay $16,923 for tuition alone, up from $16,133 last year. After calculating technology fees, meal plans, room and board and other various on-campus services, one year at Loyola costs about $46,608.

However, tuition prices aren’t the only financial dilemma that students encounter. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that in 2008, the average student at a private 4-year college graduated with approximately $21,100 worth of debt. As of 2013, the average amount of debt has increased to $24,898 nationwide, an increase of almost 18 percent. Louisiana graduates come slightly below the national average with $22,455 in debt.

The average Loyola graduate has a slightly smaller financial burden when graduating. The Institute for College Access and Success reported that out of all the Louisiana colleges with a four-year undergraduate program, the average Loyola graduate had $22,713.56 in debt.

Mass communication freshman Morgan Ballard knew tuition prices played a major role in her college choice. Even with her scholarships and savings account, she said she will likely have to take out student loans for her remaining three years at Loyola.

For many students, paying off their debt is an afterthought to their college education, something that they can deal with when they graduate, Ballard said.

“Being a freshman, you’re more focused on school and getting grades. Student loans are currently something that everyone has to deal with, so no one’s really interested in paying them back right now,” Ballard said.

And for many undergraduate students, paying off student loans is as big a problem as finding a job after college.

But with the average student loan debt increasing along with tuition, some students might not be sure about how big their loan amounts should be.

“As long as you’re bettering yourself, you can stay in school as long as you need, even with the loans,” Freire said.

Alex Davis can be reached at

[email protected] 

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