FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The month of May means graduation for many college students. However, after they get that diploma, how do they manage their student loan debt while trying to secure a job?
Noah Getts is going to school for elementary education at Ivy Tech.
“There’s no better feeling to give back to your community than to help teach children,” said Getts.
He’s transferring to Ball State.
“Financial aid-wise, it’s very, very rough. It’s about an extra $1,500 a year that I have to borrow. On average, it’ll be about $6,500 a year that i have to borrow from the government to go to school,” Getts said.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average student in Indiana and Ohio, racks up between $22,000 and $25,000 in student loan debt.
Meanwhile, a survey by Accenture states that only 11 percent of this year’s graduating class said they secured a job before graduation.
“It’s always worth it, it really depends on what your goals are when you finish school,” said Chris Cathcart, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs for Ivy Tech.
Cathcart said planning is key.
“It’s all about the decisions that you make while you’re here in school that will determine how much you owe in the long-run,” said Cathcart.
That includes saving up.
“Some of that money that you got for christmas or those other life events can help you a lot to reduce the amount of debt that you have in the long-term,” said Cathcart.
He recommends trying to decide what you want to do early on, so students are not taking classes that you don’t need.
“Academic advisers and your instructors are the main source of information on what you need in your program and will help you decide what is necessary and what is not necessary,” said Cathcart.
Getts said his expenses are manageable because he has a monthly payment.
“Talk to them about your needs and your limitations, and then what can you do to mitigate some of your challenges,” said Cathcart.
Experts said having a work-study program, which can be part of financial aid, can help with funding.
Also, being a student worker can prepare students with their career while helping to save.