Should Students Pay Out of Pocket for Degrees?
When you start to look at colleges, you are going to go into shock at some of the prices. While tuition is bad enough, colleges seem to find a way to add on a bunch of fees and other charges. Then you will have to buy your books and that won't be cheap either. Hopefully, you did all the work of getting financial aid grants and have gotten at least a few scholarships to help with everything. If you are still short of what you need, you may be tempted to take out some student loans. Before you do, consider what it means.
Pay Back Can Be Brutal
You do not need to pay on your student loans while you are still in school. In fact, you do not have to pay on them until you have been out of school for six months. If you took loans out every semester, you may have acquired a rather large debt. Some graduates owe over $100,000. You need to get a job and you need to get it fast. It can be difficult to make the transition from college to the work force. You may need to get new living arrangements and have an entire lifestyle change. Adding to that your loan payments can make things not to pleasant at all.
Length of Pay Back
The amount you have to pay each month may not be too bad; no worse than a car loan. You will be paying on it for much longer than buying a car though. Many people are still paying on their student loans well into their 40s or even after turning 50.
Working and Paying Out of Pocket
While it might be difficult to work full time and go to school full time, many people are doing just that. It is no longer as common as it was to just take out student loans every time you come up short for the semester. When you need it, you can make payment arrangements with the school. You do not have to have all your tuition and fees up front. You will be tired and get frustrated at times, but in the end, you will be better off after graduation and can take the time you need to make the adjustment into the working world.
Taking an Extra Year to Graduate
The university might call it a four year degree, but many students are taking five years to complete it. Taking just one less class each semester and having that extra time for work or study will make life a lot easier on you in the long run. You may need an extra year to graduate, but you will have better grades and have paid for all your school without the need for loans.
If absolutely necessary, by all means, take out a student loan to get your education. Do not just do it because it is offered. In the long run, you may just regret it.
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