Graduating with debt: An unnecessary stress factor

Graduation is an exciting time of year, even for someone like me who is three years away from graduating college. It encompasses the full transition into the real, working world where a person’s opportunities broaden and things get serious.

Unfortunately, graduation is also a reminder that students now have to start paying off their loans. This is a daunting thought.

We all know that attending RWU does not involve an inexpensive education. It costs a significant amount of money to go here. Unless you earned a full scholarship or have other means of paying tuition and housing fees, it is difficult to to attend this school without leaving with mass amounts of debt.

To give some perspective, according to the financial aid section for undergraduate admissions on RWU’s website, incoming freshmen will be paying $36,978 in tuition and $15,390 for room and board for the 2019-2020 academic year. Add that up and the amount comes out to be $52,368 per year. There are other factors that come into play in the years after, such as more expensive housing plans. Hypothetically, however, if the amount per year was to stay the same, the total cost of attendance for four years would be about $209,500. This number increases if a student decides to go to graduate school.

This is an astronomical amount of money to be paying for an education, which is why the majority of students take out loans through FAFSA, a bank or another student loan organization. The problem that comes with loans, however, is the interest rate. This rate drastically raises the cost and digs people further into debt.

Frankly, college should not be costing us this much. Graduating might be nerve-wracking, and the unknown is scary, but the process should not be as stress-inducing as it is. Seniors should not have to constantly worry about how they are going to pay off their loans and avoid being in debt for the rest of their lives. I am stressing over it now and I am only a freshman.

It seems to be the norm now, an expected and accepted truth, that if you attend college, you are probably going to be paying off your tuition for the rest of your life. It should not be like that. There needs to be a system implemented in our government that can somehow reduce the cost of college attendance and lessen the amount of interest on loans taken out. 

I believe this is something that can happen and should happen. If it is possible for other governments, then it is possible for ours too.