Personal Finance Expert Suze Orman to Speak at UF Graduation
GAINESVILE, Fla. (AP) - Graduates of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine will receive one final lesson before they get their diplomas.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman will give advice on debt and money management during a commencement speech on Saturday.
Orman, who lives in Boca Raton, also has a personal reason for speaking: Her niece is one of the 87 students graduating from the college.
Orman told The Associated Press that she plans to talk about student loan debt during her speech - and to advise the graduates to take the standard method of repayment and not income based repayment of loans.
The TV show host added that student loans can be dangerous because in most cases, they are the only types of loans that cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the House passed legislation that links student loan rates to the ups and downs of the financial markets. President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation.
The Republican-backed bill would allow students to dodge a scheduled rate hike for students with new subsidized Stafford loans next month, but rates could rise in coming years. Democrats largely opposed the measure - which they branded the "Making College More Expensive Act" - while the Republican chairman of the Education Committee labeled the legislation a starting point for negotiations with the Senate and White House.
Orman said she was recently in Washington to talk about student loan interest rates with lawmakers and others.
"What in the world are we doing to our children?" she said. "We're charging the future of America the highest interest rates of all loans. Are we kidding?"
Orman said student loan debt isn't necessarily a bad thing - if someone is taking out loans and expects to make a lot of money over a lifetime- for instance, as a veterinarian - student loans may be a wise choice. Students who go into lower-paying professions need to be realistic about how much they can reasonably pay back, she added.
"Students need to understand that this is serious," Orman said.
According to a survey done by the American Veterinary Medical Association, 82 percent of the veterinary students who responded to the 2012 survey said they would have about $151,000 in school debt by the time they graduate.
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