By Amanda Rose Hicken
Students graduating college with not only with a diploma, but with outstanding student debt causes many to wonder if college is worth the price tag.
A recent article from the Pew Research Center shows that nearly 19 percent of all households in America have student debt, translating into almost one out of five students taking out student loans.
Although these national statistics paint a grim picture for college students across the nation, students at UVU are optimistic about getting out from under their student debt after graduation, whether it be with help from scholarships, family members, or paying out of pocket.
The highest share of debt at 40 percent for students is those under the age of 35. This is especially significant as most are beginning to provide for themselves and their new families.
Andrew Holbrook, a computer science major, is among this age group.
“I’m going into a pretty comfortable field, so I know there will be a lot of job opportunities for me,” Holbrook said.
Confident that he will “pay the loans off fairly quickly” due to his field of study, Holbrook said he is looking forward to graduation date. Not only will he be paying for his own debt, but he will also be paying his wife’s accumulated student debt. This does not alarm Holbrook, and he is confident in his ability to pay back the loans.
There are students on campus who have avoided loans altogether, even as student debt has increased 15 percent since 2007.
Anna Evans is only a freshman, yet she said she has always had a plan for her future. Evans was able to secure multiple scholarships prior to UVU, which will allow her finish a bachelor’s degree with little to no debt.
“I worked for this super hard in high school,” Evans said of her scholarships.
Evans said she is now able to enjoy her college experience without having to stress about monetary means.
Other students have not been as fortunate as Evans, yet they are positive that they will quickly repay any existing student loans.
Rhett Reiser, sophomore, is undecided in his major, but said he has made the choice that one day, he will pay off existing debt. Answering that his accumulated debt “scares me a little,” Reiser is focused on graduation first before he starts worrying about his loans.
“I figure after I graduate I will be able to land a better job, and then I will be able to pay it back,” Reiser said.
Affecting students of all ages, outstanding student debt has rapidly become a cause of major headaches for families across the nation.
Jessica Pearson, an illustration major, has high hopes that she will not become a statistic of overwhelming debt. She has already taken out a loan, but hopes this will be her only one.
“I’m getting a job this summer, and my grandparents are chipping in,” Pearson said of her plan to combat the high expense of college.
Resources for students currently struggling with debt can be found online on the UVU Financial Aid homepage, where repayment calculators and advice on repaying loans is available.