Dani Naess Hellesund
Having a college degree is a vital asset to possess before entering the workforce, but due to the high cost of such a degree, many students are forced to take student loans, adding stress to their lives years after college.
For junior Education major Kristin Esbin, her main concern is the time it will take to pay off her student loans. Esbin sees the practice of taking out student loans as something that a lot of people have to go through, and deal with, step-by-step. “I have other things to worry about, too, besides my student loans,” she said.
There is often a minimum payment requirement that has to be met every due date – sometimes every month. Kimberly Toledo, a freshman Photography major, said that her primary concern was the limit on payment plans. “I’m concerned if I’m going to meet that limit,” she said.
As a freshman, there are limits to what you can earn at a job. “I do have a job now, but it’s no way near paying [back] thousands of dollars for this school,” Toledo said. In Toledo’s case, it is her mom who pays for her student loans at the moment. Another concern for her is what happens if her mother can’t pay for the loans.
“I don’t think so,” was Toledo’s answer when asked if taking student loans to go to school was worth it. When asked why she did it anyway, she said, “Cause I have to.” She feels pressure from society to get a degree in order to get a job. “High school, college, job,” she said.
Rachel Zerah, a junior Psychology major, is free of student loans. “I came in with a lot of scholarships,” she said. After her scholarships, Zerah pays about $6,000 a year to attend Post. For graduate school, however, Zerah will have to take up student loans. Her worry is, “How long it’s going to take to pay [it] back,” she said, which is a similar concern shared with many others. As a junior, Zerah has been thinking about grad school, and the thought of taking up loans scares her a bit.
Julie Baumgarten, a senior Broadcasting major, does not get any money from the school, and has had to take student loans. “Sad, broke, and scared,” she said, when asked about her feelings on her loans.
With loan payments of more than $1,800 a month, Baumgarten said, “I don’t know how I’ll be able to pay that back, even if I do get a full-time job.” With the end of her college career fast approaching, she describes thinking of her student loans as “really scary.”
Baumgarten said that she didn’t think it was worth paying so much money to go to Post. When asked what she thought the school could do to help students with the outlook of expensive student loans to repay, she said, “Stop raising tuition.” She added that the school could give out more scholarships and grants.
Ashley Martucci, a junior Elementary Education major, said that she thinks about her student loans a lot. Yet, she is hopeful that she will get a job right after graduation. When thinking about her student loans and the future, Martucci said, “It just stresses me out.”
A lot of students have to lend money, and many of them worry about how they are going to pay them back, and how long it will take. Student loans give students who don’t get other financial support a chance to get an education, but having to pay all of it back is a source of concern. Educational institutions can help by giving out more scholarships, grants, and making tuition affordable.