Budgeting Your College Debt - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/13/03

Budgeting Your College Debt

What are the consequences to higher education? "Some of the students have to use credit cards to survive. Others use it to finance a lifestyle that is their choice," said Dr. Vickie Hampton, Financial Planning Professor for Texas Tech.

That's right. Debt. "Maybe a little. I have a couple of credit cards that are off a little bit," said Danny Haddad, Junior at Tech. "I know I'll have a huge debt," said Allison Spikes, Junior.

Credit cards aren't always the culprit. Student loans can stack up over the years. "At least $20,000. I'll be in school for awhile," said Allison.

And tuition? Tech students will be paying $800 more a year in tuition and fees.

Here's a look at how debt can pile-up for a student taking 15 hours per semester for 1 year at Texas Tech. Let's say, in this example, a student lives on campus four semesters and the rest, he lives off campus. His total debt after four years of college would be approximately $36,440.

Don't forget those credit cards. According to studies, credit card debt for college students can end up being as low as $2,000 and as high as $10,000. In that case, college students are looking at a debt as much as $46,440 after college.

Then there's tuition deregulation. When Governor Rick Perry signs this into law, the bill will give Texas universities the option to raise tuition at it's own discretion.

But Texas Tech spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley says it won't happen unless the Board of Regents decides to do that. And the possibility of another tuition hike, Rugeley says, can't even be considered until next spring.

"It depends on what they consider making money and what their future expenses are. If they need the money for expenses they'll raise tuition," said Freshman, Jonathan Russel.

Financial planning professor Dr. Hampton says there are ways students can reduce the amount of debt. At the Red to Black Center, students can receive free financial counseling. She suggests finishing up college in four years, set priorities, and of course, cut back on spending.

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