Students Struggle with Thousands of Dollars of School Debt
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa – A new report shows, nationwide, more than 600,000 federal student loan borrowers who entered repayment in 2010 defaulted on their loans by 2012.
Iowa college graduates appear to have a debt problem. Iowa ranks sixth in student debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.
The average college graduate in Iowa is nearly $29,000 in debt.
It's alarming for many at the University of Iowa to see that the state sits near the top of the list for schools with the highest average student debt. As one of the state's largest universities, The UI is working to stop the trend.
For some University of Iowa students, how they'll pay off loans is not their number one priority.
"I'm not really sure yet,” said UI Freshman Taylor Perrott.
Director of Student Financial Aid Mark Warner, however, said his office works day in and day out to educate students. Debt has increased over the years, so they're working to teach students only to borrow as much as is absolutely necessary.
"We are also sending out two to three times a year, a communication that directs students to starting salaries for various majors, we direct them to websites where they can see the exact amount of their loan at any point in time,” Warner said.
Graduates at the UI have an average debt of nearly $27,500, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. Some students said racking up the number of loans is the only way they could afford college.
"I do have them, I have a lot of them,” Perrott said. “They are very important or I wouldn't be here."
Others are thankful their parents thought ahead.
"Luckily my parents saved up a lot of money, and they are helping me out with college,” said UI Junior Brad Levinson.
This day and age, however, sometimes there's no telling when you'll need another loan.
"My father just applied for veterans’ benefits so now I'm getting much of my schooling paid for by the VA, but with the gov't shutdown, if it lasts more than two weeks, then that'll be backed up quite a bit,” said UI Sophomore Kyle Dombeck.
Warner said the university is working to simply talk to students and families to realize they usually don't need to borrow as much as they think. The University notes that 45 percent of students leave without borrowing any money.
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