MESA LEGEND: Student loan debt causes concern

Career College Central Summary:

  • Student loan debt stands at $1.2 trillion, and the effects aren’t just in American pocket books, but also weighing heavily on the minds of those in debt and chasing away prospective students.  In a study released by the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare written by Min Zhan, the dramatic rise in college costs, over the past decade has pushed more and more students into seeking loans.
  • The tuition rates have risen beyond what families and part-time jobs could cover, according to the study, so taking out loans to cover the costs has become normalized. The deregulation of some financial markets has also allowed younger people to move in and try to take advantage of the choices there to try and fund their education with private loans which are far more restrictive in its payment options than a government loan would be.
  • Student loans are a large part of the money going into colleges now, with the average student in Arizona leaving college about $22,253 in debt according to a report released by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).  Arizona students are in the low end of student loan debt, New Mexico has the lowest amount of loan debt at $18,656. The highest amount of debt rests with students in New Hampshire with nearly double of what Arizona students owe, about $32,795. The national average as of 2013 is $28,400. Student loan debt has outpaced not just credit card debt, but is quickly catching up to the largest form of consumer debt; home mortgages.
  • The report by the Institute for College Success mentioned that those are only the rates for public and private universities, because for-profit colleges such as Fullsail or the now defunct Corinthian do not disclose the amount of debt that its students graduate with. But another report showed that despite the amount for-profit college students owed being unknown, the amount of students with debt is, and it stands at 88 percent versus the 75 percent for private universities and the 65 percent for public colleges.

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