The graduation merchandise for sale in stores and constant messages about purchasing your cap and gown and ordering graduation invitation cards for friends and family can make a student feel stressed.
Eleanor Stascavage, a senior English major at the University of Mississippi, wants to move to California and write video game scripts when she finishes college. But right now, she’s worried about passing a class in order to graduate.
Devin Cook, another UM English major, said graduation paperwork has made him nervous, as well as making sure he’s fulfilled the credit requirement.
“Mostly making sure you have the credits you need,” he said, has him worried. University of Mississippi requires students to have 120 credits to graduate.
The National Center of Education Statistics reports that, of the 18 million students enrolled in undergraduate programs, only 3.42 will graduate on time.
Student Brian Hatch said he’s worried that he’s come this far, yet there’s still a possibility of not graduating that all students face. He plans to move to “Colorado with some friends, taking a few years off, just working wherever, then going back to grad school after a couple of years.”
The NCES reports that, in the fall of 2014, there were three million students enrolled in graduate school, medical school or law school, and at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 754,000 master’s degrees and 170,100 doctorate degrees will be awarded.
Caitlin Ramage, a graduate assistant in the office of financial aid at Ole Miss, said she sees students “struggling with what to do after graduation.”
Some of the questions they ask, she said, are: “How do you defer your loans? Should I go to grad school? Should I get a job? How do I find a job for what I want to do?”
According to Project on Student Debt.com, seven out of 10 college seniors are in debt because of student loans, and the average debt of a UM graduate in 2013 was $25,613.
On top of student loans, there is the pressure of finding a job after graduation. The NCES reports that the unemployment of people with a bachelor’s degree is under 10 percent for both men and women, but it is still a cause for concern for many students.