In 2010, the average college student graduated with $25,250 in student loan debt, the Project on Student Debt reports, and this figure continues to rise each year. While higher education advocates and politicians have searched for a solution to this growing problem, a new report by NERA Economic Consulting and Young Invincibles shows that additional financial aid consulting for students may be a good start in reducing their post-graduation debt.
The report shows that 40% of students with federal loans said they did not receive any type of financial aid counseling about their loans, even though colleges are required by law to give students both entrance and exit counseling.
For students who do not receive the proper information about their loans, the results can often be devastating.
"If students lack accurate information about grants and loans, they may miss opportunities to fund their education or may make financially damaging choices," the report states. "It is not clear whether the higher than-average debt held by our respondents is reflective of personal financial circumstances, school choice, or something else. It seems likely, however, that lacking clear information and proper counseling to help guide smart borrowing decisions may be among the list of possible reasons for these high debt levels."