Florida Student Debt Average Lower Than Other States
In a college town like gainesville, student loan debt is a hot topic. A new report released this week shows a large variation of student debt between states and universities. The national average student debt is about $29,000. The State of Florida comes in at about $20,000.
The amount of money borrowed by students in the state of florida, on average, is lower than a majority of other states. But students are still not happy they have to borrow. Mohammed Liaquad said, "no one wants a debt, you're going to college in order to achieve something". And Morgan Sutton said, "I only had to take out around three-thousand a year. but I know people that have taken out six to eight even in their freshman year."
Morgan Sutton says she came to the University of Florida with plenty of scholarships, but still needed a loan. She said, "but the most expensive thing here is not tuition, it's living expenses, like food and rent. That's what I had to take a loan out for." UF's Student Financial Affairs Director Rick Wilder says the state average student debt goes up every year for a couple of reasons. He said, "increase in cost in cost of attendance here at the University of Florida and secondarily in the Bright Futures program which many of our students participate in. Four years ago, Bright Futures paid 100% of a students tuition and now it only pays about 50%. So our students are having to find alternate ways to make up that difference and for some, it's loans. But he says, despite the increase, students at UF are mostly debt-free, "loan and debtedness at the University of Florida is actually quite low. You might be interested to know, that almost 60% of undergraduate graduates who started here leave with almost no debt at all. So we are pretty proud of that"
And the students agree that no matter what, it'll all be worth it in the end. Liaquad said, "yea, the biggest investment is investing in your education, it will all work out." Sutton added, "It is definitely worth it because if you are engaged in your education and you believe you can get out in the work force, you can pay them back."
The Project on Student Debt published all of their results in a college by college breakdown. The latest number for UF students was just under $20,000. Information on Santa Fe student debt was unavailable. Here are the results: http://projectonstudentdebt.org/
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