Early graduation not worth extra student debt

Junette Reyes /Staff Writer

Students become increasingly indebted to their college or university by borrowing loans to advance in their studies, unaware that they may not find a job with a salary adequate enough to pay that debt in a timely manner.

According to an article published on Feb. 1 by Julia Duba for FIU Student Media on the subject of the Pell Grant summer term cancellation, “The amount of money University students owe after graduation is approximately $7,000 below the national average.”
This is still a large enough sum that some students will eventually need to deal with all because of this idea of wanting to graduate early.
Delaying one’s graduation date continues to receive a bad reputation despite the opportunities of being debtless as well as the additional time that can be used to gain the necessary experience for their field.

Since the University requires summer term credits in order to graduate, it is understandable when some students resort to loans for a term in which some aid might be limited, especially now that the Pell Grant has been cancelled for summer terms.

I advise you to take classes during fall or spring, which are the semesters when students are eligible to receive a Pell Grant.

Limiting the borrowing of loans during fall and spring terms is trickier, though, because some aid, such as Bright Futures, require students to take a certain number of credits to maintain their aid. This means students cannot necessarily decrease the number of courses they are taking for the sake of being debtless, even though their aid might not fully cover tuition without loans.

Still, students should take the opportunity of remaining as debt free as possible, even if it means delaying their graduation date.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey of 2009-2010, unemployment rates for some majors, such as engineering, business, law, and psychology, were all within the range of six to 15 percent for recent college graduates.

In contrast, most unemployment rates significantly dropped to the three to six percent range the more experienced the college graduate was.

Besides being in debt, students could also be incapable of paying their debt if their rushed degree does not lead them to the career with the necessary salary to start paying it off.

As mentioned in an article published on Jan. 12 by Paolo Ramos for FIU Student Media on the subject of a stable employment, “The unemployment rate for college graduates is at an all-time high of 5.1 percent.”

Employers are seeking applicants with experience rather than those having only the degree itself.

Instead of looking at delaying graduation in a bad light, students should see it as more time to further prepare themselves for their field.
It is not enough to simply attend class. Student should instead use the time presented to seek experience wherever they can find it. Furthermore, opportunities for experience is one thing our University does not lack.

As stated by Ramos, “The University offers career services that introduces students to important aspects of the professional world, offer networking opportunities and provide consultations with those already employed in various industries.”

In addition, Ramos stated that “Many departments and organizations within the school also have connections with internships that students should take advantage of to get a head start in their careers.”

The possibility of being debtless and the opportunity of gaining experience in their fields with the time presented should encourage students to not rush through college, as much as they may want to graduate as early as possible.


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