Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Student Loan Debt Leading to Low Birth Rate in US??

A recent and  intriguing report from America Now, suggests that student loan debt is a factor in the low birth rate in the US, ( currently 63 per 1,000 women). A rate that is half of what it was at it's  peak in the 1950s.  (To hear the full report  click on America Now.)  Student loan debt has topped    $1 trillion and one full year of tuition at some elite colleges have reached $60,000. But with careful planning and wise decisions, students can reduce their debt load. Here are some college planning tips for those looking for colleges.
1. Consider State Colleges & Community Colleges: Many have transfer agreements with not only other state institutions,  but private colleges. A move that can save you $90,000 -$120,000 over  two years.

2. Review College Fee Options: Colleges charge different fees for different types of dormitory styles and for various meal plans.You can save money by choosing a dorm room with more  roommates or a a more limited meal plan.

3. Live Off-Campus: Most colleges require freshmen to live on campus, but upperclassmen can save substantially on housing by living off campus with roommates.

4. Find On-Campus Work: Beyond College Workstudy, which is need-based Federal Financial Aid, many colleges have Student Employment Offices.  If you campus does not  have a Student Employment Office, consider stopping by the College's Human Resource Office and inquire about part-time positions on campus.  Take it a step further and consider a full-time job on campus if your college offers tuition assistance for employees!

5. Analyze Entry Level Salaries VS Anticipated Debt: Research the average entry level salaries for the career you are interested in pursuing after graduation and the average student loan debt you expect to incur based on your specific college  and degree choice.

Those soon to graduate or recent grads should follow these tips:

1. Choose Your Federal Student Loan Repayment Option Carefully: The US Department of Education now offers 7 different student loan repayment options. Choosing the option that best meets your needs and situation can save you thousands of dollars in repayment.

2. Consider Consolidating Your Federal Student Loans: If you have borrowed for college through multiple federal student loan programs, (FFLEP, Direct, NDSL, Perkins, etc.) you may benefit from consolidating your loans. Interest Rates are averaged and you make one payment a month instead of several.

3. Check for Loan Forgiveness & Repayment Programs:  Depending on your college major and career goals you may be eligible for a loan forgiveness or repayment program. Generally these are for those interested in high need careers.

4. Look for Job In Cities that offer Loan Repayment: Some cities and town are recruiting people to move to their areas by offering to pay off new residents student loans.

If you need help with your college planning or post college planning contact me at headforcollege@netzero.com


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