VIDEO: Student Loan Debt is Growing

May 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

Student loan debt continues to exceed credit card debt, after surpassing it for the first time last June. At the same time, the federal government has large budget deficits and is cutting state support of higher education to help balance the budget.

This year, Pell Grant Funding is being cut by eight billion dollars. In addition to the cuts in Pell Grants, the federal government will no longer fund the Academic Competitiveness Grant or the Smart Grant. In Texas, state equalization grants will be cut by 30 percent. With all these cuts, loans become a necessity for students. Leaving many in debt right out of college.

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, May 3 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Dallas Love Field airport is getting a face lift. Education budget cuts may cause more students to apply for student loans, and The Daily Campus and The Daily Mustang are merging. Find out all this and more on your Daily Update.

VIDEO: “The Student Loan Meltdown:” What You May Not Know

April 9, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Carolina Brioso
cbrioso@smu.edu

Video by Sydney Giesey
sschmidt@smu.edu

VIDEO: Student Loan Meltdown from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and University held its program about “The Student Loan Meltdown” at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The SABEW annual conference presented the program that shed light on startling facts about the 30 million Americans who are currently affected by student loan debts.

The speakers of the conference were the CEO of the APSCU, Harris Miller, Paul Combe, Marty Steffens, and Mark Kantrowitz. The speakers all stressed the importance of obtaining a college education, as it is the finest route to employment.

Paul Combe, from the American Student Assistance, said his organization works and helps loan borrowers after graduation.

“As a society, we benefit from education. It’s sad to see how the middle class will start off in debt,” said Combe.
Mark Kantrowitz brought up for discussion a finding that was not only a surprise to many but initiated numerous questions from actively engaged audience members.

“We have realized that student loans have exceeded credit card debt. There is currently $900 billion in student loan debt,” said Kantrowitz.

The panelists said that a serious problem is that students are signing off on loans in which they will not be able to pay back.

“The most important thing to do is to get the right amount of loan… If you are willing to work with the government, the government will work with you when paying back those loans. The system is designed to help the payer,” said Miller.

However, is there a solution to a problem that affects so many? With high attendance costs from private universities, some students are leaving college with debts in the hundred thousands of dollars. According to the APSCU, the average student loan debt is $24,000.

The panelists also mentioned that the students who usually end up in default are those who try to escape payments.

“Australia, for example, instead of going through a loan system and then if you fail to pay the loans back and the lender tries to chase you down and extract if from you somehow, they go through the tax-system. Basically, the money you borrowed to go to school will come out from your payroll if you don’t pay, and I think that is something the United States should try to do,” said Miller.

The speakers also brought to light a disturbing trend on Parent Plus Loans. Because Parent Plus Loans are not need-based, anyone can get one.

“Even Bill Gates could get a parent plus loan if he wanted to,” said Combe.

The speakers mentioned that the Octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, was living off parent plus loans to provide for her children.

While the APSCU stresses the significance of an education, some individuals simply cannot afford it. It is without a doubt that college graduates hope for nothing more than to depart college with pride, respect, and an overwhelming feeling of achievement. However, if one decides to go through with the loan process to obtain a degree, one will unfortunately depart college with inevitable fear and a burden of debts.

Campus News Blog: Federal Loans are the Best Option for Student Loans

September 21, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Gwen Sullivan

With the economy in slow recovery, college students across the board are trying to make ends meet.

According to The Princeton Review, SMU tuition alone costs an average of $31,200. Especially for families with more than one child, a 4-year education at a private university can break the bank.

One solution? Student loans.

For those who can barely get by paying for a college education, federal or private loans can make all the difference. But it is important to choose your student loan wisely! The last thing you want is to enter the ‘real world’ with a whole bunch of debt.

In Jonnelle Marte’s Wall Street Journal article ‘Don’t Ignore Federal Loans,’ she advises students and their families look into all federal loan options before settling on a private loan.

“Nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students who took out private loans in the 2007-08 school year could have taken out more generous federal loans, according to a study by the Project on Student Debt, a consumer group based in Berkeley, California.”

For students who have to work off their own loans after graduation, federal loans offer lower interest rates, more flexible payment plans and loan-forgiveness plans for graduates who have low incomes. Private loans also don’t always offer the same protection for borrows as federal loans do.

Good news! You don’t have to come from a low-income family to receive financial support. There are loans available for almost anyone.

For more information on student loan options, visit FinAid!