Poll: How much debt will you have when you graduate?

Earlier this week we asked for your stories on how you pay to get through college. We’re interested: ¬†whether Georgetown is giving you financial aid, or you are taking out loans, or you are set to graduate without any debt at all. Send them our way at blog@georgetownvoice.com

8 Comments on “Poll: How much debt will you have when you graduate?

  1. I’d be interested to know how many of those “No debt for me!” votes are really “My parents are paying for all of this!” votes…

  2. $10-20K. Enough to be noticeable, but since I’m graduating with a good full-time job, it’s really not a crushing burden; not even close.

    While I recognize other people weren’t as fortunate as I, student loan debt generally should not be an overwhelming burden for people employed full-time (which, admittedly, is not at all a given in this economy).

    I don’t regret coming to Georgetown for one minute, and the debt was totally worth it. If any potential future Georgetown students are reading this, do not let a reasonable amount of debt stand in your way of coming here.

  3. It can be an overwhelming burden for people employed full-time when your minimum monthly payments are more than your rent (Washington, DC rent!). And just doing the minimum means I can expect my debtload to double or triple in the 20 years it will take to pay off. So there’s that.

  4. I’m paying the minimum possible per month to pay off my debt, and I think I’m set to have it all paid off in 10 years. Which sounds like a really long time, but I just don’t think of that money as my own every month – it goes out of my account automatically, and I just count it into my monthly “rent + utilities + car payment + gym + oh my god why is DC so expensive” calculation.

    But can someone explain what the deal is with the possibility of student loan interest rates doubling this summer? Because THAT would suck.

  5. Allie — the interest rate doubling would only apply to new loans, not to loans already made. The interest rate for student loans is currently at 3.4%; barring Congressional action, it’s going to rise to 6.8%. So if you take out a loan for the 2012-13 school year, it’d have twice the interest rate (though it’d still be subsidized during school).

    Congress is very probably going to find a way to keep it at 3.4% (they need those young people votes!), but the only solutions being considered right now, Republican and Democrat both, are those that keep it at a low rate for one year only. Which means we get to look forward to this whole debate next year again!

  6. @ @Anonymous: I get that. But we have to acknowledge that such a scenario is the exception rather than the rule. If the average student graduates with $25K in debt, that’s a monthly payment of $250 over ten years (@3.4%). Again, annoying, but not crushing. The scenario you describe, while definitely real, and something we have to pay attention to, is fairly uncommon.

    I recognize student debt is a real problem for some people, including the unemployed, and in some circumstances even the gainfully employed. But to help future generations make fully informed choices, we should be straightforward about saying that most students will graduate with a mostly manageable debt load.

    I fear the most prominent voices on this topic are not representative of the typical student experience. As it has been in the past, going into debt to finance your education remains an acceptable (although not ideal) option that won’t seriously inhibit most students’ ability to live a normal life.

  7. I do enjoy how the Voice is pushing this as a huge issue even though the majority of Vox readers seem to have no debt.

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