Is College Debt A Choice?!

Within the last century, college has transformed into a main resource for gaining utmost success. It is known to be the ticket to a decent salary, growth within a specific career and endless opportunities. Unfortunately, those benefits are often delayed after graduation when recent graduates realize how much debt they have accumulated during their time at college. According to College Choice, student loan debt has topped one trillion as of 2013. This has stirred the pot and has raised concerning questions for parents and students. If you choose to apply and get accepted into an expensive university, are you choosing to accumulate debt if you decide to attend?

In 2016, the Institution for College Access and Success confirmed valuable research regarding which states had the highest and lowest student debt averages. The state with the highest student debt average is New Hampshire, while the state with the lowest is Utah. Along with average student debt costs, the percentages of students with debt within these states have skyrocketed. 74% of New Hampshire’s student population has a massive amount of student debt, while the percentage of students with debt in Utah is only at 43%. With this valid information, why are individuals applying to colleges in New Hampshire, and why aren’t colleges in Utah receiving more applications?

The deciding factors

College is much more than the cost for some. A resource from Fast Web states that aside from academics, the main factors that determine how students choose a college are the school spirit, the campus location and size, housing options, food and diversity. These considerations are important, but they’re becoming a larger priority over other deciding factors, such as tuition price and academic programs. Others choose colleges by considering their parents’ opinion, or because it has been their ‘dream school since they were young. These decisions cause individuals to pick a university that they struggle to afford, but can give them an outstanding life on campus. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

The long term effects

After graduation, every student has a goal of what they want to pursue within their career, what kind of apartment they want to rent, or the car they would like to own. Student loan debt is delaying these goals so much that college graduates are living with their parents for a longer period of time, delay starting a savings account to be able to purchase these luxuries, and end up ignoring the process of putting money away for retirement. Shockingly, in was reported that 30% of individuals ages 55-64 were still paying off their student loan debt in 2013.

How to conquer your debt

If you attended college, you are bound to have an accumulation of debt, but there are several fantastic ways to minimize the impact of your debt:

  1. Consider refinancing: This option allows you to choose your preferred payment plan based on your budget. Refinancing your student loan payments helps if you’ve advanced within your career and maintained a good credit score since graduation.
  2. Extend your repayment plan: Based on your budget, you can choose a payment plan that works with your income. That way you can pay off your loans and afford other things you need without crushing your bank account.
  3. Apply for academic scholarships: While you’re attending college, applying for as many scholarships as possible to take money of off your total tuition bill. Here, you can find some great scholarship resources!
  4. Look for job positions that help pay off your loans: It is becoming more and more common that certain companies help pay off loans if you work for them. If you want assistance in paying off your college debt, looking for this benefit while searching for jobs.
Sienna L. Incase is a content creator who has a passion for writing about finances. Her goal is to help young adults learn how to budget by discussing valuable money tips and advice. When she is not writing, she loves to read, and go on walks with her dog, Lillie.

 

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