Olivia Cattabriga / Art director

William Patti

Equinox Staff

Although a college education can open up several doors for students after graduation and make it easier for them to get jobs they desire, many students leave college with several thousands of dollars of debt.

This can lead to financial struggles for college graduates because even though having a degree in your field may earn you higher paying jobs, or at least a wider variety of positions to choose from, it can take several years to fully pay off student loans and due to interest rates, graduates can end up trapped in a cycle of regenerative debt.

According to CollegeDate.com the average cost of an education from a state college in the United States ranges from $9,970 a year for in-state residents and $25,620 a year for students who come from out of state. In a report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the average student loan debt in New Hampshire is $34,000. With expenses like this, college loans end up leaving college graduates with crippling debt that compounds as time goes on.

Although students can ease this financial stress by earning grants and scholarships and taking advantage of financial aid programs, unless a near-full scholarship is earned, it’s likely the student will still require loans to pay for their education. With a bachelor’s degree normally taking 4 years to complete, out of state students can rack up close to $100,000 if not more in student debt based on the data provided.

Keene State Alumni Tyler Wilson was interviewed about how he feels student debt affects alumni. “Finding work out of college that pays well enough to pay student loans, rent, food, and allows you to put an adequate amount into savings is near impossible. College debt is the reason so many students get a late start moving out and making a life of their own that doesn’t require relying on others,” he said.

Another Keene State Alumni, who preferred to remain unnamed, was interviewed and asked how student debt has affected them since graduating. “I pay over one thousand dollars a month in student loans and I most likely will for at least the next 15 years. On top of that I have to pay everyday, recurring expenses such as gas, food, toiletries, cell phone bill, etc. Due to my student debt I don’t see myself having enough money to afford a comfortable lifestyle anywhere in the near future,” they said. “It’s truly ironic and unfortunate that my education, something that is supposed to help one succeed and get ahead in life, would ultimately put me in the position to fail from the start.”

Student debt is becoming an epidemic in America and is putting graduates all over the country in financial turmoil. Although it may seem that a college education is the most important thing, one must consider the financial burden it entails and find what plan works the best for them.

William Patti can be

contacted at wpatti@kscequinox.com