Posted tagged ‘Student Loans’

Student loan debt still a growing problem for students

November 15, 2011

By Mallory Lane

Student loans are the number one cause of debt among Americans today and for Durice White and her family, it’s no different.White decided to attend Elon because she loved the interaction between the students and professors and all the opportunities the many organizations offered. But after graduating in 2009, the memories of attending Elon weren’t the only thing sticking around for White.

“My student loan I took out my junior and senior year, (was) about $15,000,” White said.  “My parent’s loan is much more substantial because they took a loan out every year I came here. I did not have a scholarship and we had to do a loan.”

Last month, President Obama came out with a new plan to help keep student loans from piling up. The plan caps student loan payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and forgives debt after 20 years.

After graduating college, students have up to six months to find a source of income before payments for their loans kick in. But what happens to those who don’t find a job after graduating is troublesome for White.

“Mounds and mounds of interest come up on that,” White said. “So their monthly payment went from $201 to $325 to now $415, and when you don’t have a salary position, it’s kind of difficult to make those payments.”

However Patrick Murphy, director of Financial Planning at Elon, said that while more students are asking about loans, most Elon graduates are able to pay them back.

As for White, she was able to find employment with the Elon Alumni office and for now, is on track to pay back her loans while enjoying Elon a second time around.

“It’s different being a student and then being a professional,” White said. “But it’s great to be back.”

Dealing with Student Loans

September 20, 2011

By David Hodges

ELON, NC- Chelsea Yarborough knew that Elon was for her from the moment she stepped on campus. But just like 40 percent of students here, to make it her home she needed to take out a loan.

“I have a lot of loans, but for me I’m getting my money’s because what I’ve gotten is priceless,” Yarborough said. “Which is to find my purpose to really find solidly who I am and live that person regardless of what other people think.”

Yarborough will leave Elon for seminary school but she’ll also be leaving with debt. The average Elon student with financial aid graduates with $22,000 of debt, but Yarborough is already saving money to pay it off.

“I’ll just make it like a regular bill,” Yarborough said. “You know you wouldn’t not pay your light bill, you wouldn’t want to sit in the dark. So I don’t want to not pay my loan bill and have them stalking me I want to live my life.”

But the data released by the Department of Education shows that it’s usually not private school students who end up defaulting on their loan, with only 4.6 percent of graduates with aid not meeting their payments. Public university students with aid have a default rate of 7.2 percent. But the largest increase in students who default on their federal loans attended for-profit schools where there was a rise of four percentage points totaling 15 percent of students.

“A lot of places you go to find employment or to start your own thing, they look at some of these sheets of paper, your certificate, as just a sheet of paper,” University of Phoenix student Leshikia Striblin said.

Striblin attends one of two for-profit schools in Greensboro, the other being Strayer University. She believes that in this job market, it’s harder for a student who graduates from a for-profit school than a private or public university. The numbers tend to agree.

“Our default rate dropped from 2008-2009,” Elon Financial Aid Director Patrick Murphy said. “Think about what happened in 2008, economy went to tank.”

Only six Elon students defaulted last year, a rate of 0.9 percent. Caleb Beyer is one of the many who paid off his loans recently.

“I really saw kind of getting rid of that student loan as the first thing before I could really start planning for the rest of my future,” Beyer said in his nearly empty apartment. It appears as though taking care of his student loans was more important to him than even having furniture.

His plan to pay the bills worked and after seminary school Yarborough wants to do the same so the federal government keeps their faith in her.



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