Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Thoughts on Debt

As a junior at Santa Clara University, debt is a common worry among many students. With tuition as $45,000 each year, many families are forced to take out loans in order to pay for their children’s education. I have several friends who have to pay for their own college education, which leaves them in debt for many years after graduation. Luckily, I do not have to worry about the struggles to afford my college education. Although it is very expensive to afford SCU, my Aunt left a college fund for all of her nieces and nephews after she died. Luckily, all of my college is paid for and I will not have to get a job any time soon, so I can focus on volleyball and my classes.

In this economy, college graduates in debt are struggling. Many companies have had hiring freezes or are laying young employees off in order to save money. These graduates are struggling to pay off their student loans that they took out to pay for college because getting a well paying job is difficult with our economic crisis in America. According to an article “Out of the Hole of College Debt”, Undergraduate students leave school with an average of $20,000 in debt, and average graduate borrowers owe $45,000. Even before the recent credit crisis, worrying began over the rising number of student loans, which now top 5 million.

In February of 2007, the House of Representatives passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act. This Act is an opportunity for $2,000 of loan forgiveness per year. With today's college tuition, $2,000 isn't going to get anyone through a year of college, but it is a first step to alleviate the debt crisis that young students face.

Unfortunately, I am forced to start thinking about my future at a young age. I have reconsidered graduate school because of how expensive it is, and I have started applying for summer internships. I figure if I work at a company in college, maybe they will secure me a job once I graduate and I will not have to worry about being jobless with a crappy economy. Although my college tuition is paid for, I constantly feel the need to save as much money as possible by changing my lifestyle drastically. I can no longer spend money in frivolous things, but have to focus on saving for my future so I can have the luxury to go back to school and continue my education.

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