Heading off to college is an exciting time. As you approach this new chapter in your life, you are ready to explore your options and move towards the career you want. One of the first decisions you will need to make is what school you want to attend. It is no surprise that college is expensive and if you need to borrow federal student loans, you will likely graduate with debt. In fact, students held an average of $29,000 in student debt when they graduated in 2015.
It is important that you need to consider the debt that a school will give you as you make your choice. Let’s take a look into how you can avoid too much debt and what colleges offer the most debt.
1. Assess Your Costs
You need to sit down and assess the cost of the school you are interested in. You should have more than one school lined up just in case.
When it comes time to analyze the cost of the school itself, take a look at how much it is per credit hour. You need to remember that tuition is typically charged PER credit hour. Therefore, if you take a class that is three credit hours and the cost per credit hour is $100, the class would cost $300.
In addition to the cost of tuition, you also need to factor in the cost for tuition, books, parking spots, and similar.
2. Understand the Loan
You also need to understand the loan options you have. For starters, you should try to secure any free money that you are entitled to. Free money is considered grants, or scholarships. Basically, any money you do not have to pay back.
If you do need to borrow student loans, you will have a choice between federal or private loans. Federal loans do not require you to have a good credit score, as do private loans, and they offer a variety of benefits to you. BUT! Remember, you do need to pay your loans back, so be cautious about how much you borrow.
True Cost of Universities and the Debt They Bring
Now, let’s take a look at some of the debt that comes along with your choice of college.
1. The University of Alabama has an average student debt per borrower of $29,320. 45% of students from this school will graduate with debt. The average amount of debt for private student loans is $38,402 and 10% of students graduate with private loan debt.
2. The University of Florida has an average student debt per borrower of $21,028. 43% of students will graduate with debt. In addition, students have an average private student loan debt amount of $14,199. 3% of students graduate with private loan debt.
3. Tennessee State University has an average student loan debt amount of $35,214 per borrower. 87% of students graduate with student loan debt. Private student loan debt is equal to $18,021 and 10% of students graduate with private student loan debt.
4. The University of Michigan in Flint has an average student loan debt per borrower of $31,206. 66% of all students will graduate with student loan debt. Private student loan borrowers hold an average of $14,579 in debt. This means that 13% of students will graduate with private loan debt.
As you can see, some schools cost more, which means that the amount of debt you hold when you graduate is much higher. Take the time to look over the costs of each school BEFORE you apply and sign the contracts for student loans.