The Gatepost Editorial: Students need debt education

So far, the new Trump administration has said very little about one of the biggest threats to our economy – the student debt crisis.

At FSU, 27 percent of students owe over $25,000, according to a recent Gatepost survey.

Currently, the national student loan debt is over a trillion dollars, and 70 percent of American college students are burdened by student loan debt, according to studentloans.net.

While President Donald Trump has said he plans to consolidate all current repayment plans into a single income-based repayment plan, according to studentdebtrelieft.us, it doesn’t seem to be a priority. He has a wall to build, you know.

So if the Trump administration isn’t going to help, who can?

The University.

We at The Gatepost believe Framingham State should lead by example and educate its students on their student loan debts.

Perhaps more troubling than the shocking amount of money students owe is the number of them don’t actually know what they owe.

The Gatepost survey found nineteen percent of FSU students are currently unsure of the total amount of their student loan debt.

Additionally, according to a 2016 study conducted by Lendedu, a company that provides information on student loan refinancing options, only 7.9 percent of students surveyed know their current interest rates, and only 6.1 percent know their repayment terms.

The University has taken steps to help students with their FAFSA applications. There is a whole page of the University website dedicated to student loan information. The University has also designated FAFSA days every spring semester dedicated to helping students fill out their federal financial aid application.

However, we at The Gatepost believe the website and FAFSA workshop are not enough. Knowing how to fill out and submit the FAFSA is pointless if students don’t know what they are signing up for.

The University should hold a workshop once a semester in which staff educate students about the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and private and federal loans.

Students also need to be taught which loans accumulate interest while they are still enrolled, how interest rates work, the risks for a cosigner and their options after graduating, such as student loan refinancing.

In addition to the workshops, a class on student loans should be taught during the mandatory Foundations course all freshmen take at the start of their time here.

If the loan crisis is to be solved, people need to know what the loan crisis is.

And since it is becoming clearer every day that the Trump administration will sit idly by for four years as Millennials drown in debt, it is up to universities and colleges to help their students.

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