By Kurtis Pharr
The rising cost of tuition and students accumulating thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt each year concerns any young person seeking an education.
Taking on thousands of dollars of debt before you are legally an adult would scare anyone, but for most modern students, this is an accepted practice.
Student loans stick with students several years after college, and some can’t pay them off because of rising interest rates. This can cause financial problems later in life.
University of Mississippi student Eric Kroeger has been stressed for years about having tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt.
“I just know that I am going to be paying off my student loans until I’m 30 because the rising interest is accumulating every single day, and I still have two years of classes left,” he said.
Some students regret not trying harder to get scholarships. UM student Michaela Cooper has one.
“My scholarship is for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field, so I get thousands of dollars extra every year to spend how I please,” said Cooper, who shared success secrets. “I went to a local community college in Mississippi, transferred after two years and got basically a full ride because of that fact alone. The transfer scholarships at Ole Miss are very powerful, and I think more students should seriously consider how much money they will save going this route in the long term.”
Cooper said STEM fields are a great way to get scholarships because they are some of the most needed jobs in our country.
“There are many different options to get your education fully paid for just by getting a certain degree at Ole Miss,” she said.
Some students question whether or not college is even worth it because of the rising student loan problems. UM sophomore George Dedes is one.
“I question every day if all the loan debt that I am racking up to get my degree is going to be worth it in the end, and if I can get a job after college,” he said.
This is a concern for college students around the country because of the millennial generation’s lack of job prospects.
“It is rather unfair that student loans are pushed upon people who aren’t even adults yet, and then they have to deal with being slaved to the bank for years to come,” he said. “Many students feel the exact same way about the situation and (believe) hope might be lost when it comes to the certain degree they are trying to obtain.”
Dedes worries about being able to purchase a home later and believes his generation is behind other generations ecomically. “Our generation of students is (our parents) … because of the rising tuition costs of college and the awful student loan entrapments that society has laid out for students all over the world,” he said.
Dedes said he wants the same opportunities other generations have had. “I want the ability to buy a house and raise a family with a new job and a new life, but, sadly, I don’t know if I am going to be able to afford it anymore after four years of school.”