Nationwide, Student Debt is now over $1.5 Trillion

Student loan debt, nationwide has hit just over 1.5 trillion dollars. The amount has more than doubled in the last decade. 

Our Malique Rankin shows us what this looks like in North Dakota, and how graduates are managing.

Tiffany Personett; Music Accompanist at Century High School: “I have a bachelor’s degree in piano performance. With student loans, it cost be about 40 thousand dollars.”

Tiffany Personett is just one of the 44 million Americans who have college loans.
A contributing factor is how much tuition has  increased.

Scott Lingen; BSC Director of Financial Aid: “If you look at, just 10 years ago, the tuition rate was vastly different than what it is today.”

Stand-Up: “The costs for a higher education are among the fastest-rising costs in American society today. Since 1980, tuition costs at public universities has risen from $2,119 to $9,410, which is a jump of 344%.”

Getting a degree doesn’t ensure you get a job that can cover the costs of your education.
For Tiffany, she’s getting another degree in hopes of landing a higher-paying job.

Tiffany Personett; Music Accompanist at Century High School: “I decided to come back to school to become a paralegal because I already have a bachelors degree and just need a few legal classes to accomplish this.”

Even if you go the more *economic route* of a 2-year local college, you may not leave debt-free.

Scott Lingen; BSC Director of Financial Aid: “The average amount of debt that a student might have upon leaving BSC is about 10,000 dollars.”

For many grads struggling with debt, it can make big purchases, like a car or mortgage approval, all the more difficult.

Tiffany Personett; Music Accompanist at Century High School: “I have had a couple times where I’ve had a new student loan, and my credit score has dropped quite a bit.”

BSC’s Director of Financial Aid says this is a problem seen at every college across the country. 
He says the best way to handle debt is to sit down with your financial aid office, apply for scholarships, and live frugally.

Tiffany told us she hopes students will be given a better understanding of how loans can affect you for decades following graduation.

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