My name is Elizabeth, I am a 24 year old college graduate from Redondo Beach, California and I currently owe $52,000 in student loans. I graduated cum laude from Chatham University's College for Women in 2012 and I currently attend California State University, Northridge as a graduate student of Public Administration.
I am currently unemployed although I am actively looking for work. I worked various jobs throughout my undergrad so I have extensive work experience in addition to a bachelor's degree. After finishing graduate school, I plan to work for the government. If everything goes as planned, I want to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which will forgive the remaining balance on my student loans after I make regular monthly payments for 10 years.
My student loans have had both a positive and negative impact on my life. On the positive front, my loans allowed me to attend a college I otherwise would not have been able to afford. Chatham University's College for Women is an excellent school and I am lucky to say I am an alumna of such an institution. Student loans are also helping me afford my graduate school education at California State University, Northridge. Without loans, I would not have been able to earn my bachelor's degree or be currently working toward my master's degree. Student loans are definitely a life saver in this regard. On the other hand, I regret taking out student loans because I will begin my professional life already in debt. This debt, which will total $60,000 once I earn my master's degree, will deter me from buying a house or car for several years. I cannot feel too strong of hatred or love towards student loans because they will enable me to pursue the career I want, but will postpone me settling down into a home until after the loans are paid off.
I do not recommend that all college students get student loans. Student loans should absolutely be the last resort in paying for one's education. College Students should always utilize scholarships, grants, and employment before even discussing student loans. I utilized all of my options. I was the recipient of some scholarships and grants, and I also worked in a work-study job on-campus. These financial resources did not cover the full cost of my education so I used loans to cover the rest.
I think both students and the government should be responsible for paying off student loans. The government should invest more financial resources in college students so that fewer students need loans. There should be more paths to student loan forgiveness. If students dedicate 5 years or more of their life to working in the public sector, then their student loans should be forgiven (after paying off some of the balance, of course.) Students are the backbone of the economy. They are a good return investment, because they will work and create more tax revenue.
- Financial Aid
- student loans