Entries in College Loans (2)


Could the Sequester Impact Your Student Loans?

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- While Republicans and Democrats fight over how to deal with the automatic budget cuts that start Friday, the sequester will almost certainly mean cuts to programs for college students.

That includes cuts to some federal work-study programs and reductions in payments to millions of student loan borrowers, although the exact detail and timeline remain unclear.

During the White House briefing Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned of the dire effects sequestration could have on federal higher education funding.

“That ($86 million cut) would mean for the fall as many as 70,000 students would lose access to grants and to work-study opportunities,” Duncan said during the briefing. “And if young people lose access to grants and lose access to work-study, my fear … is many of them would not be able to enroll in college, would not be able to go back. And, again, do we want a less-educated workforce?”

Though funding for federal Pell Grants are protected from sequestration, funding for federal work study grants would be cut by $49 million and supplemental educational opportunity grants by $37 million, according to the Department of Education.

In a Feb. 1 letter to the U.S. Senate on Committee Appropriations, Duncan also noted that the ability for the Department of Education to collect and service student debt to borrowers once they left school “would be hampered” by the cuts.

For U.S. Student Association President Tiffany Letin, who graduated with nearly $28,000 in student loan debt, the cuts are detrimental to the future of higher education funding.

“President Obama came out in his state of the union address and inauguration speech saying we should support students financially,” Letin said. “But the sequestration and budget contradict this – our states don’t get the funding they need to have lower costs for textbooks and keep faculty and staff at our colleges and universities.”

The association will be holding a national conference in Washington, D.C. with more than 350 students from March 14 to 18 to discuss student loan debt and issues regarding undocumented students. Students will practice effective lobbying and put their skills to the test on March 18 by rallying for better funding for higher education.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Student Loan Debt Up for Class of 2010

Jupiterimages/ComstockTwo-thirds of all college students now graduate with debt -- and the amount they accumulate to pay for their education keeps growing by the year.

According to a new report by The Project on Student Debt, the average senior with student loans is graduating with $25,250 in debt, up five percent since the prior year.

The subject has recently come to the forefront because of the protesters of Occupy Wall Street, who have come together in cities across the country and abroad to shed light on the problems of the so-called "99 percent."

They not only protest on the streets, but have formed coalitions on Facebook,Twitter and Tumblr -- most recently forming Occupy Student Debt, a page dedicated to people sharing their stories about struggling with student loan debt.

While many are struggling to repay their loans, the class of 2010 may have a harder time. Reports show that they are facing the highest unemployment rate for new college graduates in recent history at 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for people under 30 is at 13 percent.

The amount of debt not only seems to vary school to school, but also from region to region. The report shows that students in the Northeast and Midwest tend to have more student loan debt than people living in the West. New Hampshire was the state with the highest average debt level at $31,048 per student, followed by Maine and Iowa. Utah and Hawaii were the states with the lowest debt average at $15,509 and $15,550.

According to the report, the disparity may be attributed to fact that a larger group of students attend private, nonprofit, four-year colleges, which tend to be more expensive, while those in the West have a bigger share of students attending public schools.

The report also listed colleges that specifically have students with higher-than-average student loan debt. The private nonprofit colleges, including California Institute of the Arts, Florida Institute of Technology and New York University, all have an average debt from $40,400 to $55,250.

The high-debt public colleges, like University of New Hampshire-Main Campus, Alabama State University and Temple University, all have an average of $29,800 to $45,350.

Private, for-profit colleges were not included on either list because so few of them report the relevant debt data needed to be listed, and generally don't respond to the survey that The Project on Student Debt uses to compile data. The most recent national data, however, shows that 96 percent of graduates from those schools took out loans and borrowed 45 percent more than graduates from other four-year colleges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio