Colleges and High Schools Offer Some Counseling for Credit Card Using Students

With students falling deeper in debt, are high schools and colleges doing enough to educate undergraduates about credit card use?

A May 2011 Consumer Reports survey shows 2011 college graduates had a rate of debt that is 47 percent higher than their counterparts a decade ago and up 8 percent from 2010. The average graduate has a $22,900 debt.

According to a 2009 report issued by the Student Loan Marketing Corporation, Reston, Va., a company that originates, services and collects student loans – commonly called Sallie Mae – college students are also using credit cards more than ever, including charging tuition and other education-related expenses.

According to the report, researched by Sallie Mae’s sister company, Nellie Mae, and the fifth issued since 1998, 84 percent of college students had at least one credit card, up from 76 percent in 2004.

"After reading the statistics and seeing things like more people are dropping out of college because of credit card debt than student loan debt, I just thought we needed to do something," Mahanoy Area business education teacher Kathy Loy said.

Loy pushed the school’s administration to offer a personal finance class and require that each junior at Mahanoy Area take the class.

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