In this season of college applications, student loans have become a topical issue, even in the recent presidential debates. It is for a fact that more students are going to college and the total federal student debt in the country is on the rise.
Between 2010 and 2014 student debt nearly quadrupled reaching $1.9 trillion which is even higher than the total credit card debt.It is also no news that the rate at which college student are getting employed is drastically declining and a student’s loan could even affect their employability.
Apart from all these different things Financial aid Coordinator for Syracuse University, Derek Brainard, said that students need to look at the employability of their chosen field before even starting.
He said they need to weigh their options carefully to know if the chosen field is worth the loan at all. This is the case of Jennifer Garcia, a graduate of Bryant and Stratton college here in Syracuse. She graduated in 2008 with a major in Applied Medical Sciences and a 3.8 CGPA.
Its difficult to imagine why she now works at Subway with a $30,000 loan on her neck. Her major sounds employable but in actual fact it is only a foundational program. She needs to further her studies to something more like medicine or nursing, something she can actually work with.
Garcia has always wanted to be a nurse, but with the amount of debt she now has she can’t go further in her studies until she pays back her loans.
“Students need to know exactly what they are getting into,” Brainard said. He said students need to be well educated on the subject of financial management right from the high school level so that when its time for them to start college, they would be able to make informed financial decisions.”
“If they had told me all the details of the loan at the beginning, I probably would have never went,” Garcia said. She now struggles to pay her bills with the meagre salary she makes from her two jobs. She is still hopeful that one day she would be a nurse.