Obama's student loan relief plan welcomed by CCU students
Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:57:20 GMT —
It's one debt you can't hide from, federal student loans. Now President Barack Obama plans to offer some much needed relief. The president outlined a plan Wednesday that includes a loan forgiveness program for public service workers who make payments for ten years.
For students attending schools like Coastal Carolina University the cost of education is on the rise.
"As state dollars dwindle those allocations dwindle. As our costs rise and the allocations don't rise, students do have to borrow more in order to pay for an education," explained Greg Thornburg, Interim Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Services at CCU.
In-state students at CCU pay $4,880 a semester in tuition alone. For out-of-state students it's $10,780.
"It's a lot of money that I have to pay back eventually and if I don't pay it back, then it goes out of my tax refund, things like that. But it hasn't really hit me yet because of the simple fact that I've been tunnel-visioned on finishing school, so the loans haven't really hit me yet. It's a conversation I have with mommy all the time," said CCU student Keosha Thompson.
Thompson's mother knows all about college debt, she just recently paid off her own loans.
Thompson's already taking steps to bring her college debt down. "When I get a refund check I send something towards my loans, whether it be 50 dollars or 60 dollars, it's something to knock down what's already there."
Under President Obama's plan, he wants to cap the monthly student loan payment to 10 percent of the person's income from the current rate of 15 percent. The change is already scheduled for 2014, but the President wants that change to happen now. In the end, that could mean saving several hundred dollars a month.
"I think that would motivate more people to go to school because some people don't even want to go to school because they know about the student loans and you're going to have to pay all that back eventually," said CCU student Dezaray Ponds.
Obama also wants to allow for consolidation and a know-before-you-owe financial aid shopping sheet. Despite the mounting debts students are accruing, many say it's worthwhile.
"That's one of my biggest accomplishments. I'm more than proud," said Thompson.
"I've bettered myself. I've become a better person with the college experience and everything. I love it. Honestly, I love it and I try not to look at the money. I try to look at the education," added Ponds.
CCU officials encourage students to only borrow what they need for school.
Outside mortgages, student loans are the number one source of household debt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.