|Who really pays for education?|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2012 13:02|
College is a time when kids say goodbye to their parents as they move away and learn how to live on their own. Students have to adapt to doing their own laundry, getting their own food, and cleaning up their own rooms.
After getting accepted into college, it’s usually a celebration full of excitement and anticipation. Then reality sets in — how are you going to pay for the next four (or more) years of your education?
On average, two-thirds of college seniors graduate with loans to repay, according to The Project on Student Debt. It was also reported that the average debt of 2010 graduates at Illinois State University was $22,847, which is below the national average of $25,250.
Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, said that parents are also in debt — $34,000 on average with loans — for sending their children through college. So who should be footing the bill of college students: You or your parents?
According to a 2011 study by the financial company Sallie Mae, parents paid 37 percent of college costs by taking out of their savings, borrowing money, and using personal income.
On one side, it is thought that parents should be responsible for paying for their child’s education. They should have set up college funds or savings accounts over the years to save for when the time comes to send their child to college.
On the other hand, people believe students should be responsible for paying their way through college no matter what; after all, isn’t it a personal choice to go to college and work toward a degree?
So, which is worse? Putting your parents in a bind to pay for your education, or paying for yourself and taking years to pay off your debt? This Editorial Board believes there is no right answer, but there are many facts to consider.
There are many loan options available for parents and for students together to pay for school, such as consolidation loans, peer-to-peer education loans, and federal and private loans. Although going through the loan process can become tiring and detailed, it's worth it.
The important thing to remember about loans is how much you will be paying back post-graduation and what you will be able to afford. Online loan calculators are an easy and helpful way to calculate how much your salary should be to pay back what you’ve borrowed.
It is common that parents will do anything for their children, including paying for their education, but it should not be expected that they give up their security by over-borrowing or pulling money from a retirement fund.
Ultimately, the decision should be discussed and the best options should be chosen as a group. A college education can be a vital part of life and should be carefully considered with realistic expectations.
Someday, the roles will change, we may have to help take care of our parents, and we may even have our own kids to put through college. Make sure to search out all the available options to help get you through and be smart about how you are spending your money.