School’s Out Forever … But the Loans Can Last Forever

Help members identify responsible ways to get financial aid and pay for the rising costs of higher education.


College is an influential time in young adults’ lives. They learn how to budget time and money; they learn how to balance academic responsibilities with part-time work or internships. The lessons come with a hefty price tag, however, as college tuition rates across the country are rising approximately 6% annually, according to a video by the The Wall Street Journal.

A January issue of BusinessWeek reported on the debt load recent graduates of for-profit institutions face. According to the article, “bachelor's degree recipients at for-profits have median debt of $31,190 compared with $17,040 at private, non-profit institutions and $7,960 at public colleges.” Despite the price tag, some grads are not getting the promised return on their educational investment. Some seek employment in fields unrelated to their degree programs; others consider enrolling in a non-profit institution, such as a community college, but find their current student loan debt is a major hindrance to securing new student funding. “Students seeking to move up in life by getting a degree from a for-profit college are being trapped in a growing underclass of education debtors,” the article continues.

With an economy currently on the rebound and a slow-moving job market for new college grads, how can members manage their higher education costs? In this video from SmartMoney, reporter Anna Maria Andriotis offers advice on how to secure a substantial financial aid offer.

By understanding the differences of for-profit, private, and public schools — and their associated costs — a credit union can help guide members through their higher education decisions. Walk your students and their families through the forms and due dates (for tips, visit CU Student Choice) as well as discuss types of aid available from the government and the credit union.


Jan. 21, 2011


  • We are in the process of completing due dilligence for "private student loans". Having put two young adults through college recently myself, I understand the value of these loans.
    Steve Wichmann, EVP Heritage trust FCU