For some, the last thing on our minds is the total cost of our education when we decide to attend college. I admit, I never fully realized how much debt I’d accumlate over my four years.
I can’t help but think of students, similar to me, who have financed their education without help from their parents and will be graduating with even more debt than myself.
While some parents financially can’t help, others simply don’t. My parents fall into both categories. I’m the oldest of four children. My dad works in the housing industry, and we all know how that area has been going lately. Also, I don’t qualify for FASFA.
So, to put my financial situation into perspective without confusing you, I’ll owe over $41,000 and be making at least a $570 payment every month as soon as I graduate if I want everything paid off in the next 10 years.
I try to not think about it.
Ok, so maybe I don’t push this tidbit to the back of my mind. To be honest, I think about it several times a week. I usually freak out about it a couple times a year. I’m sure other students do too. I’ve accepted my decision and faced the reality of having to pay it off.
My advice to the underclassmen is to please reconsider how much you need to borrow. For most of us, we won’t be landing the dream job that allows paying off our student loans within a few years.
For example, as much fun as that May Term trip abroad sounds, don’t just take out another loan to cover it. Work throughout the year to pay half, if not all, of it. I don’t discourage students from traveling abroad. It’s an amazing opportunity I have yet to endeavor on. I want students to realize the impact of their borrowing habits now rather than in the future when their decision could affect more than themselves.
Recently, I heard this quote, “Live like a college student today so you don’t have to after you graduate.” How true is that statement. Maybe I’m thinking about it three years too late, but what I do today can help or hurt my financial circumstance after graduation.
Students need to realize how much their borrowing habits will affect them the day they graduate and enter the new real world. For some of us, borrowing more than enough, buying what we don’t need and going out to dinner every weekend isn’t an option. Or if it is an option, think if that money can be spent elsewhere. Maybe that May Term trip you want to go on?
But let’s face it. We decided to attend Simpson for a reason. I like to think it’s because of the relationships I’ve built with faculty and administration, the gorgeous campus, the homey brick buildings and, of course, the greatest group of friends I somehow knew I was going to meet.
Whatever the reason, I hope the cost of attending Simpson doesn’t affect anyone’s thought of transferring. I’ve been there and thought that too. To be honest, attending Simpson has been worth every dollar I’ve spent, and by spent I mean borrowed.