Are you looking to double major or add a minor? Or perhaps you are a transfer student who needs extra credits? With Keene State College’s reduction from a 20-credit maximum to an 18-credit maximum, plans to graduate with low(er) student loan debt and on time may be more difficult.

According to the Registrar’s Office, students who plan to take more than 18 credits will be required to pay an extra $440 per credit, regardless of whether that student is in-state or out-of-state.

This added fee puts a significant strain on many students, including Education majors who are required to take on a second major in order to graduate. For many of these students, they must take five classes every semester in order to graduate in four years. With the restriction from 20 credits to 18, that adds a sizeable sum onto their already hefty student loans.

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Although Keene State College is facing drastic cuts in funding from the state of New Hampshire—cuts resulting in a $6 million decrease in funding—charging students who are already facing large loan payments after graduation is not the answer. By saddling students with more potential debt, this decreases the possibilities open for students after college.

With a 6-month grace period before loan payments are due, many students in this economic climate are facing difficult choices—should they accept the job that pays more regardless of whether it suits their interests, or should they take the dream job and deal with the consequences of not making monthly payments?

Keene State College’s motto, “Enter to learn, go forth to serve,” cannot be fulfilled in the lives of its students and alumni if tuition continues to rise and additional costs are mandated.

In the day-to-day life of students, the additional $440 per credit might not drastically impact the present, but once students graduate and realize how much their monthly student loan payment will be, the reduction of credits allowed per semester will certainly make itself known.


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