More than 60 percent of University of Delaware students graduate with federal loan debt
In 2012, student loans surpassed auto loans and credit cards to become the second largest form of debt in America, behind only mortgages
For thousands of Delaware high school seniors, Friday is „Decision Day,” when most must pay an enrollment deposit at the college or university they will attend this fall.
That modest outlay will be http://getbadcreditloan.com/payday-loans-ok dwarfed by the cost of the education each of them seeks. Students who fail to consider how they’ll pay for their degree could find themselves in financial quicksand for decades.
„It’s scary,” said George Thuku, an Appoquinimink High School senior who expects to spend $60,000 to $70,000 on his college education at least half of which he’ll fund through federal and private loans.
„It’ll probably take me 20 to 30 years to pay it all off,” the aspiring finance major said. „I don’t think it’s worth it, but I do think it’s necessary, because you have to do it (to pay for college).”
One in nine Delawareans is carrying some form of student debt, according to data released by the White House last month. The average amount owed is $26,802, the 15th-highest average in the nation.
Collectively, Delaware borrowers owe more than $3.2 billion. By comparison, the state’s operating budget for fiscal year 2015 is $3.8 billion.
School officials say the current average amount is $21,586 for in-state students and $23,566 for out-of-state sudents. Delaware State University, the only other public four-year college in the state, did not provide the percentage of its students who graduate with federal loan debt. According to school officials, the average debt for its in-state students is $32,045 and $42,403 for out-of-state students.
Louise Fox, about to earn her master’s degree in school leadership from Wilmington University and who will soon pay about $600 a month on the $57,000 she owes in students loans, says that monthly obligation means she is one unforeseen accident or health issue away from financial turmoil.
„I just have to hope that I don’t lose my job or something like that,” she said, „that would cause me to go into further debt.
„I’ve already been paying for three years,” she said. „I’ll probably be paying for at least another 10. It’ll take me almost three times as long to pay it off as it did to actually get the degrees. I definitely have to be more cautious right now.”
The 24-year-old has worked her way through school for the past 5 1 /2 years. She is now employed at an educational nonprofit in Dover.
„I’ve budgeted and I’ve saved every possible penny,” said the Philadelphia native, who moved to Townsend two years ago. „That’s where the big burden comes in trying to save all those pennies that I can, while still paying all my bills, trying to further my education so I can stay in the field that I’m in, but still living my life.
„So my hope is that once I get my master’s, I get a raise, and that I’m able to take a breath, make all my payments, and to get focused on what’s next.”
More than 43 million Americans owe a record $1.16 trillion in student loans, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or FRBNY. That averages out to nearly $27,000 per person.
Nearly 70 percent of seniors who graduated in 2013 had some form of student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access and Success
The nation’s student debt load is now comparable in size to the $1.3 trillion value of subprime mortgages in 2007, just months before the housing bubble burst, sending the nation into the largest economic downtown since the Great Depression.