@BAllanHansen

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

college and debt


From "A Lifetime of of Student Debt? Not Likely" By Robin Wilson in the Chronicle of Higher Education


"In fact, despite stories of a large number of students who face gargantuan debt, about a third of graduates leave college with no debt at all for their education. Of the 65 percent who face debt, the average they owe is around $20,000. That's just below the starting price of a 2009 Ford Escape.

"Most people borrow a reasonable amount of money, they pay it back, and they are better for having gone to college," says Mr. McPherson.

But for a vocal minority of borrowers, problems with student-loan debt are very real. About 8 percent of undergraduates borrow at least double the national average.

Why do some students borrow more than $40,000 for a bachelor's degree when average borrowing is only half that? The answer is almost never that they are from very low-income families and need that much money to get a four-year degree. Public four-year colleges charged an average of just $6,585 for in-state tuition and fees in 2008-9. The total cost, including textbooks, room and board, and other living expenses, averages $18,326 a year — and financial aid brings that figure down for many students."

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