Students face mounting debt woes
National student debt rates are rising while credit card debt rates are decreasing, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Since 2008, credit card debt has decreased from $860 million to $690 million, an almost 20-percent decrease. However, student debt rates have increased from $440 million to $550 million, a 25-percent increase.
Overall, credit card debt accounts for 6 percent of all national debt, and student debt accounts for 5 percent.
According to the Project on Student Debt, 52 percent of OU students graduate with debt, and the average was $15,659 in 2009. Even though students are graduating with five-figure debt, OU’s two-year student loan default rate is lower than national trends.
OU’s student loan default rate is 3.8 percent, which is an increase from fiscal year 2008’s 3.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The national two-year student loan default rate is 8.8 percent, an increase from the 7-percent rate in 2008.
The Daily contacted both the director of OU Financial Aid and the vice president for Student Financial Services for information about OU student debt and ways the university helps alleviate it, but they were out of the office or in meetings and did not respond to multiple email and phone messages.
The Financial Aid website recommends students apply for federal aid, scholarships, grants, tuition waivers and loans to finance college education. Students receiving federal loans are required to take an online counseling quiz to learn about financial responsibilities and other loan information.
AT A GLANCE
Student debt statistics
37 percent of students in 2009-2010 took out an average of $8,332. The total amount of aid received by the students was $60,292,981.
58 percent of students received an average of $6,726 in grant or scholarship aid. The aid totaled $76,059,207.
24 percent of students received an average of $3,720 in Pell grants. The Pell grant aid totaled $17,344,363.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics