We continue our series “A Matter of Degrees” with how families finance higher education. With the price tag ever-rising, and grants scarce, students are shopping-around and cobbling together a variety of funding approaches. Often, that includes taking on more debt, but also re-thinking that traditional model of a four-year, on-campus College experience.
The quagmire that is student loan debt has finally surpassed credit card debt in America. We’ve heard a lot about what this level of debt means to college graduates, drop-outs and families but now we’re going to dig a little deeper into the “loan” part. What a student signs up for looks, feels and sounds like a loan…but doesn’t fine-print like a loan. Decisions made by congress in recent decades have rendered traditional loan safeguards such as bankruptcy filing, inaccessible to borrowers. David Dayen is a freelance writer and contributor to salon, where we found his article, “Your Student Loan Isn’t Really a Loan.”
Charles Wheelan’s unconventional advice for graduates got us talking about the twists and turns of our own post-graduate lives. The path life takes, as we know, zigs as often as it zags…so Virginia Prescott asked a few colleagues to record what they wish they’d been told on that expectant day.
By some estimates, U.S. college debt has hit a staggering one trillion dollars. And New Hampshire students are first in the nation when it comes to the average debt burden. Some blame colleges and universities for hiking tuition. Others blame states for steep funding cuts. Meanwhile, many say our entire higher education system needs a serious financial overhaul.