The money issue

Eddie Kilroy

Here is a good question for everyone to think about: What is the major problem that college students face after graduation?

Is it finding a job? At one point last school year, yes, this was a problem. In fact, according to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in America is 9.7 percent. But with the economy slowly rebuilding itself and Kent State supplying students with job fairs and career counseling, this issue is slowly dissipating.

Is it finding a place to live? No. With the housing market taking the majority of the blow in the economic downfall, apartments and houses have become affordable in the Cleveland area. The same can’t be said for other parts of the country, but because we’re in Northeast Ohio, I find this pretty relevant.

So what is the major problem students will face after college?

The answer is student loans.

The fact of the matter is, the student body has to deal with the incredible issue of paying off debt after school. The average college graduate has to pay off $19,000 dollars in loan debt to either the government or another loan company. This statistic significantly varies from person to person.

From talking to several students here on campus, I’ve received some varied answers when it comes to their debt after college. I’ve heard several people say they won’t have to pay off anything after college.

Others aren’t so lucky. At one point while taking to students, I heard several of them say they were in debt of more than $50,000 dollars, and still weren’t done with school.

And just think: This is a public, state-funded college. Can you imagine the amount of debt some students have after going through a private school? At Baldwin-Wallace College, a private school in Cuyahoga County, the tuition and room and board alone costs more than $28,000 a year. Of course, the school finds ways through financial aid to bring the cost down some, but that still is a hefty debt to pay.

So what can we, the students, do about our undeniably big problem with college debt?

For those of you who owe little to nothing, you can take a deep easy breath. The worst you’ll deal with in loans will be a monthly payment with a varying amount that will last maybe a year or two.

For those of you who will have to pay back loans, like myself and many others, there are many ways you can save money in college while still attending classes. For example, buy your books online. Some people may already know this, but for the people who don’t, provides a list of college textbooks to purchase at a very reasonable price. You can either spend $110 on a textbook at a bookstore or spend $30 on that same book online. It’s your call.

There are plenty of other ways of saving, too, like buying your food in bulk. That sounds like a dumb idea, but we can never have enough Top Ramen (joke). We can also take student jobs, recycle our beer cans from the night before and limit our credit use.

I’m not saying this because I’m an expert in loan debt. I’m saying this because we are all going to face a debt of some sort at least once in our lives. If you want to learn more about how we can save ourselves from being broke forever, the Ohio Treasurer of State Kevin L. Boyce will be visiting Oct. 6 to talk to students about handling debt.

Eddie Kilroy is a sophomore communications studies major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]