This article comes from the Campus Contributor Network. Over the course of the semester, students from across our campus outreach program will analyze their school’s finances and assess the overall return students see on their educational investments.
Over the past few years, the rising cost of college has led to a student debt epidemic. According to Market Watch, America’s student loan debt grows by about $2,726 every second and currently sits around $1.4 trillion.
These loans often burden students for decades after they graduate. So, we took a look at the University of Florida student debt situation to assess where our school stands in this national crisis.
Debt by the numbers
According to College Factual, 32 percent of all undergraduate students at University of Florida use federal student loans to help pay for college, averaging $6,555 per year. The average debt of a UF student after four years is around $26,220.
The university also offers Parent PLUS loans, which were not factored into these calculations.
The three-year default rate for UF students with loans is currently around three percent, which is excellent when compared to national average of 7.4 percent.
According to College Factual, “this could be an indication that the college is working to meet the financial needs of students in such a way that reliance on student loans, particularly unsubsidized loans, is minimized for the majority of students.”
Resources at UF
The University of Florida offers a vast number of programs and educational resources to help lessen the burden of loans on its students.
These include loan repayment and net price calculators, links to scholarship search websites, various types of loans and scholarships, grants and on-campus employment opportunities. Information regarding all of this is readily available on the Office for Student Financial Affairs website and is easily accessible to students.
This information is extraordinarily helpful in allowing students to make informed decisions about what type of loans they need to take out and how long it will take to pay them back.
Student debt has a significant impact on financial stability in the long run. Students who graduate with debt are saddled with payments for years after graduating and this often makes it difficult for them to become financially stable.
According to Alliance Bernstein Investments, when college graduates were “asked whether they would describe themselves as ‘living paycheck-to-paycheck,’ 42% of respondents with college debt said that described them ‘very well’ while only 24% of those who graduated without debt said so.”
In addition, 34 percent of students who graduated with debt claimed to have sold possessions to make ends meet, whereas only 17 percent of debt-free students made the same claim.
This shows just how much of an impact student debt can have on quality of life and future financial stability. The University of Florida is definitely connecting students with the resources necessary to allow them to tackle debt after graduation, which is a large part of the reason that the default rate on student loans is so low when compared to the national average.
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