The Crusader

Students need to plan wisely to pay for college

Eli Leone-Formisano, Contributing Writer

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Now that high school seniors are applying to college around this time of the year, they need to worry about how to manage finances for their future education.

Many students are financing their education with loans without realizing potential long-term consequences. Student loan debt has grown in 2017, and it is the second highest consumer debt category behind mortgage debt.

According to Student Loan Hero, there are 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt. The average monthly loan debt payment for a borrower aged 20 to 30 is 351 dollars, and the median payment is 203 dollars a month.

Monroe-Woodbury graduate Christopher Czerwonka, who is now an Adjunct Professor of Law and Faculty Research Fellow of University at Albany, said, “Your student loans are a vehicle to be used in life. If you borrow too much, your debt burden will be high, and, at least for awhile, you might not have money to put aside for other major expenses. Borrow what you need, but only what you need.”

According to Make Lemonade, a free personal finance website, there are 44 million borrowers with 1.3 trillion dollars in student loan debt in the US. The average student currently owes $37,172 in student loan debt.

Danielle Flemm, an Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs in Hofstra University, is conflicted about students in debt.

“It’s kind of a necessary evil, really,” said Flemm. According to her, a good education will cost “a pretty penny.”

There are ways to manage student debt, such as the income-driven repayment plan program which sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.

“If I didn’t take out loans I would not have been able to afford college,” said St. John’s Production Manager of Marketing and Communications Nicole Bertram-Secor, when asked if she had any regrets about borrowing money for college.

At the SUNY and CUNY level, an Excelsior Scholarship is given to students whose families have lower incomes.

“In my estimation, the Excelsior Scholarship will greatly alleviate undergraduate debt burden,” said Czerwonka.

Advisers, guidance counselors, and parents might say that if you are unsure of your career choice, choose community college first. This gives an opportunity for students to transfer the majority of their credits to a four-year school when they decide on a major.

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Students need to plan wisely to pay for college