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Loan debt will crush us for years to come

The “America’s College Plan” proposed by President Obama brings up serious concerns about the costs of attending a university.

The plan aims to allow students the option of going to a community college for free for two years. That sounds like a bargain, especially to those of us who are already enrolled at Seton Hall.

If we pay all four years of our time here in loans, we will be looking at a steep debt of $200,000 by the time we graduate. Since the job market is not terrific right now, we will have secured monthly loan payments, but maybe not a steady income. How will we afford to pay our loan payments?

Good question. Alum Eric Nelson, 30, works at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. He graduated in 2006, when Seton Hall cost roughly $32,000 a year in comparison to our $50,000. One of his years was completely paid for. So, he graduated with a $56,000 private and $25,000 government loan payment. His private loans in 2015 have gone up to $67,000 due to a steady 5.4 interest rate.

Nelson lives with his parents in Manchester, N.J., unable to move out because of his loan debt, while earning around $90,000 annually. His debt will not even compare to our debt and we will probably not make $90,000 a year for our first job.

“For the first time since 2006, I am current on my loan payment, that’s how ridiculous the interest rates are,” Eric said.

Unfortunately, while Mr. Obama’s plan looks promising for high school students hoping to avoid debt, we Seton Hall students are still in trouble. Unless you are one of the lucky ones going to the University on scholarship, you may still be living with your parents when you’re 30, paying off a seemingly neverending loan debt. What about us, Mr. Obama?


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