I was really happy to see this article in today’s WSJ on the states now requiring schools to provide the detailed information on a student’s loan debt and the projected monthly payment:
This is definitely a step in the right direction. I think back to my college days starting in the late 90s for undergrad and mid 2000s for grad, and neither time did I get a full comprehensive picture of what the loans I was taking out would ultimately turn into once everything was done.
While it is easy to dismiss this problem and say it’s not our problem, some sentences in the last few paragraph are eye opening:
“A 2014 Brookings Institution report found about half of all first-year students in the U.S. “seriously underestimate” how much debt they have and less than one-third can estimate their debt loads within a reasonable margin of error.”
“More than one-quarter of students with federal loans reported having no federal debt and 14% said they didn’t have any student debt at all.”
I’d even say let’s take this a step further and show the projected payments alongside what the average person in the field is making and their expenses. This is the type of info a school has the ability to collect from it’s alumni and I would gladly provide it to help future students.
With both these pieces of info, you’ll have a good idea on whether or not you should take this debt or not.